Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beware of Fire

Another tale from the adventures of my sister and her family. This tale, however, not such a nice one at all.

On labour day, my sister and Richard decided to take the girls camping. My sister hates camping. The kids love it and so it's kinda become a bit of a tradition to take them.

Here's how it all went down:
They had just arrived and were unpacking, just struck up the fire, starting to get dark, and they discovered the batteries in the flashlight had died. The girls were all running about and enjoying themselves. Richard went to the camp store for batteries. As the girls were playing at the picnic table, my sister turned her back for a moment to light a citronella candle. And then she heard the scream!

I can almost hear you gasping as you imagine what happened!

Tracey said she knows she was there in a flash but at the time it seemed like it took forever, like she was frozen in time. Olivia had fallen in the fire!! Tracey grabbed Olivia up and just started opening the bottles of water and pouring it all over her and started screaming for help. There was a nurse in the next site who came running to help and called 9-1-1. During the panic, Richard got back and didn't know what the heck was going on. Poor little Isabella, Tracey said, cried more than Olivia did because she's scared to death of fire and had constantly been warning Olivia to be careful "HOT". All she could do was run round and round in circles.

And off to the hospital they all went. They had to give Olivia several shots of morphine to basically "knock her out" and ease the pain. Gladly, the burns were superficial, although 1st degree burns are the most painful. The doctor said she would heal very well and would probably not even scar. Sadly, these accidents happen ALL THE TIME, the doctor said. Often the children are not as fortunate as Olivia and burn much worse.

So here's what Tracey thinks may have happened although she didn't see. Olivia went BACKWARDS into the fire. If she was running and tripped then she would have went face-first. Another reason to THANK GOD...face-first would have been MUCH worse. Livi must have thought she could sit down on the edge of the fire pit, not realizing how hot it was. She had actually not gone right backwards into the fire, her hair was not singed, her clothes were not burned. She was wearing shorts and the backs of her legs were all burned and the palm of her hand was burned where she had obviously tried to catch herself and get up.

She was treated with lots of burn cream, her entire legs bandaged, and her whole hand bandaged making it look like a big giant paw. The skin had come off her legs, her hand was one big blister. And she was released from the hospital with lots of pain meds. Tracey, understandably, did not want to go back and stay at the site of the accident and then they couldn't find a hotel within 50 miles, everything was all booked up! They eventually did find something very late and then had to get up early again to go back to the hospital to have the bandages re-wrapped and checked.

And for a few days, poor Olivia, didn't want to get picked up because her legs hurt too much. She didn't want to go to the bathroom because she couldn't very easily sit. Olivia kept waking up at night saying she got burned in the fire, obviously having dreams about it. My sister was a mess because she felt so guilty about the whole incident. We tried to reassure her that it was an accident but I imagine I would feel the same way if that had happened to my baby.

And now, Livi, is doing much better. Her legs have healed very well and new skin is growing back already. There are a couple of "bad" spots taking a little longer. Her hand is the main concern as it's not healing as quickly but is still doing okay.

I debated sharing this story - it's all so terrible! But then I thought it might help someone to just take those extra precautions and watch your children LIKE A HAWK when you're in a new environment, whether at the cottage on the lake, or having a campfire, whatever. Yes, accidents do happen and sometimes it's completely unavoidable, as in my sisters case. But if telling you about Olivia's accident can help prevent another child from being burned then that makes a bad situation a smidge better.

Take care!


Tara said...

OH MY - poor baby! I'm so HAPPY to hear that it was not all so much worse.

Thanks for sharing - it's gonna make me a little bit more cautious (even though I'm already a little bit of a freak) with Noah around our fires at home.

AND - so glad you're back in BLOGtown!!!

Quirky Christa said...

That's so sad, I had no idea that had happened to her :( Good to hear she's healing well.

Vicki said...

That's horrible!!

Jennifer Samms said...

OMG Myrna, I can't believe this happened, the poor thing. How devastating. It's been forever since i've read blogs...honestly thought everyone gave up on them. So glad to see you updating lately. Who knows, perhaps i'll get back into it. :)