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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Words fail me part 2 by Spursfan on 28 May 2010 10:08pm
From Wednesday's Daily Mail:

"A teacher told today how he begged the mother of a five-month-old baby who suffered 40 per cent burns in the sun on Brighton beach to get help.

But despite huge blisters on the child's leg, the woman could not understand what he was saying.
Alex Coulson, 26, saw the 29-year-old blonde as she walked along the beach carrying her child. He said 'The baby was clearly very sunburnt. He was naked and very, very red and I was concerned enough to walk up to her.'
Mr Coulson, of Beckenham, Kent, was enjoying the sunshine on Sunday, as temperatures hit 25C (77C) on the hottest day of the year.

He told The Sun: 'Another woman got there first and was trying to tell her to get the baby covered up and in the shade but she didn't seem to understand what we were saying to her.
'I pointed to blisters that were forming on the boy's leg and was saying 'sunburn, sunburn' but she didn't get it. I think she may have been Eastern European.
'I told this other woman to go and get the police while I held on to the lady. She said something about not being able to find her husband on the beach'.

Two community support officers turned up and led the mother and her baby away. The 29-year-old woman, who had travelled to Brighton beach from London, could now face charges of neglect.
Her child was treated at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital after suffering 40 per cent burns. The baby has now been released from hospital into the mother's care.

Witnesses told how they tried to warn the mother her child was burning. Two foreign tourists said she ignored their pleas to get him out of the sun and appeared to be drinking.

An assistant at a Brighton beachfront shop said: 'The two girls came to tell me about the baby.

'They were very worried because they could see he was burning in the sun. He was crying and they thought he was in pain.

'They said the mother was rowdy. When they said they were worried about her son she just said "Oh, he'll be fine" and went and got another beer.

'She kept drinking and ignoring her son. They tried to tell her again but she got aggressive so they backed off.

'As soon as they told me I phoned the beachfront patrol. The girls pointed out the mother to them and then they intervened.'

Another witness Sarah Bevis, 24, said she saw other people on the beach shouting at the baby's mother. 'She had covered the baby up with a blanket as a group of women were arguing with her about the baby's burns. I couldn't see the baby myself as it was hidden.

'It looked like she was just going to stay on the beach with it covered up even though they were saying it needed medical treatment.

'I think one of the other women then called the police to report it.'
A waitress at the nearby Santiago restaurant said: 'At around 4pm a woman with dyed blonde hair came in and asked if she could use our toilets.
'She was wearing swimwear and a sarong and seemed a bit drunk. She kept mumbling something about a baby.

'But she had a heavy accent and I couldn't understand her. Later I heard sirens and saw her flanked by ambulance staff walking from the beach with a baby in her arms.'
Leading burns specialist Baljit Dheansa, who was called in from the Queen Victoria hospital in West Grinstead, said the child's skin was badly blistered and the injuries could have been life-threatening.
Experts say the episode could still have dangerous long-term effects, such as increasing the risk of skin cancer. Parents are advised never to leave a baby under six months out in the sun - and that they should not even rely on sunscreen.
Barbara Jemic, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, said: 'No child under six months should be sitting in the sun at all - because you can't put sunblock on a child less than six months. Their skin is thinner so young children are more prone to get sunburnt.
'At five months, a child is too small to communicate that it is too hot, so it will become dehydrated and it won't be able to move out of the sun by itself. And if the sunburn is accompanied by blisters, this can equal further dehydration - which can increase the risk of seizures and blood clots.
'Alarmingly, getting sunburnt so young in life can increase the chance of skin cancer in later life.
'This child probably won't require surgery, but apart from being a red-hot poor little baby, it will be in lot of pain, the injuries will take about two weeks to heal - and its chances of getting lethal skin cancer are increased.'
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She added: 'I feel very sorry for the mother. I'm sure any mother would want the best for her child - but it shows a lack of thought. She must feel absolutely awful.'
The case is being jointly investigated by Sussex Police and social services in both Brighton and Greenwich, where the mother lives.
'No arrests have been made at this stage and the baby is doing fine,' said a Sussex Police spokesman. 'An ambulance was called for the five-month-old baby who was visiting Brighton from London with his 29-year-old mother.
'Paramedics who attended the scene believed the boy was suffering from 20 per cent burns to his body. The baby was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital. No arrests have been made.
'The woman was spoken to by officers but has not been formerly interviewed.'
The hospital later said the extent of burns was nearer 40 per cent. He is still being treated in hospital where his condition is said to be stable.
NHS Brighton and Hove health promotion specialist Carolyn Syverson said babies' skins burn much more easily because they produce less melanin, which protects against UV rays.
'Babies and young children are particularly at risk of sunburn and heatstroke,' she said. 'Very young children should be kept in the shade.
'Older children, when out in the sun, should wear protective clothing, including a hat, have high-factor sun cream regularly applied and drink lots of fluids to stay safe and well.'
The burns unit at Chelsea and Westminster hospital was put on alert to receive the baby but in the end it was decided that he could stay at the Royal Sussex County Hospital - indicating the injuries were not severe enough to require surgery.
Jorge Leon-Villapalos, a plastic surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster hospitals, told the Daily Mail: 'The priority will be to rehydrate the child and give it painkillers. It is also important to make sure the redness and the burn does not equate to actual skin loss.'
Experts say young children should be kept in the shade during sunny periods to protect them from sunstroke, burning and skin cancer.
Cancer Research UK's Sunsmart campaign advises: 'Keep babies in complete shade: under trees, umbrellas, canopies or indoors. Provide shade for prams and buggies, if possible.
'When outdoors, protect a baby's skin with loose-fitting clothes, and a wide-brimmed hat that shades their face, neck and ears.'
Nina Goad, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: 'A babyís skin can burn within minutes, which is why itís so important to keep babies out of the sun.
'Sunburn is inflammation within the skin caused by damage to the skin cells by ultraviolet radiation. It is an attempt by the body to repair this damage fully and leads to redness and sometimes swelling, as the adjacent blood vessels dilate and bring in repair cells and fluids, as well as leading to soreness to make us protect the area from further damage during the repair.'"

Re: Words fail me part 2 by suzulu on 29 May 2010 12:20pm
Poor little baby. Some people don't deserve children. I thought it would have been common sense to keep the baby out of the sun!! But obviously she doesn't have any.
Re: Words fail me part 2 by kazzzz on 29 May 2010 12:47pm
Dreadful, that poor child, it's well known that severe sunburn in early years increases the risk of skin cancer enormously as well.
I don't really think that the woman's hair colour was too relevant though!
Re: Words fail me part 2 by Spursfan on 29 May 2010 1:32pm
No - nor me Kazzzz! It's like when they say someone had an accident, or was robbed or something and it's "Angela Smith, 37..."!! What does it matter how old the person is, unless it's a child or a very old person (like JtM lol)??
Re: Words fail me part 2 by kazzzz on 29 May 2010 1:39pm
Yes that's right Anne, even though it DOES matter that he's Scottish......
Re: Words fail me part 2 by Spursfan on 29 May 2010 2:01pm
Too true Matey
Re: Words fail me part 2 by kazzzz on 29 May 2010 2:08pm
not much chance of him getting sunburnt either...
Re: Words fail me part 2 by johnnythemonkey on 29 May 2010 5:18pm
The last time I was sunburnt was in 1976. I never forgot it and although I've been in the Australian summer and to Greece many times, I've always kept myself safe.

That woman is a moron and people should have been quicker to intervene.

When I was in Australia my brother used to berate parents who weren't protecting their kids from the sun... " Get a hat on that child etc ". This would be in supermarket carparks etc and I would be embarrassed ( I was in my 20's at the time ) but he was right to do so.
Re: Words fail me part 2 by johnnythemonkey on 29 May 2010 5:27pm
Btw, I think the fact that she had dyed blonde hair was very relevant. Dyed blondes are even dafter than natural blondes. :)

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