Just over three years ago, nine month-old Cleo was enjoying a kitchen-sink bath like thousands of other babies across the UK. In one of those swift and random movements that babies often make, she grabbed and pulled the tap, causing hot water to flood into the sink and cause severe burns.
Cleo was immediately rushed to the Accident and Emergency department, where she was diagnosed as having 23% deep dermal burns to her lower extremities. There were also less severe burns to her arms, hands and abdomen. First-aid was administered before Cleo was transferred to a specialist burn unit.
The night of the transfer resulted in a full month spent in the burns unit. It was during this time that Cleo began the long healing process with the best medical attention. A treatment schedule was devised to be continued every day at home, including massage, mobilisation techniques and the wearing of pressure garments.
Cleo’s family have knitted tightly together to protect their youngest member; Mum says that her older brothers help put things in perspective and also provide practical help, with massage time becoming family time. The whole family have decided to not make a big issue out of it and treat the therapy schedule as an ordinary part of the daily routine.
This attitude has beneficial psychological effects on Cleo; children take their cues from the adults around them and if those adults act like it’s a big deal then chances are it WILL be a big deal in the child’s later life.
As Cleo was so young at the time of the accident, she won’t remember any of it but the memory of those horrifying moments became almost too much for Mum to bear. She became almost phobic at the sight of hot water and says that she couldn’t even make a cup of tea without breaking down. Treatment from a hypnotherapist helped but it was some months before she began to feel any better.
Cleo is described as ‘brave, a fighter and a happy spirit’ and readily accepts her treatments. Mum supplies the massage and mobilisations, big brothers show strong support all round and we here at Jobskin supply the pressure garments.The combination means that Cleo is getting on with life despite a serious setback at the start, getting a little better every day and learning to adapt to her limitations.