A Queensland mum has unleashed on her local council after an incident at a splash and play waterpark left her 18-month-old daughter with second degree burns to her feet.

Simone Pickering was watching on as her toddler wandered among other children at the Ipswich River Heart Parklands.

“Our daughter just happened to walk a short distance from where myself and family were sitting, to find herself paralysed, standing on one of these scorching hot metal plates unable to move due to the intensity of the heat below,” Ms Pickering wrote in a Facebook warning to other parents.

“In seconds the damage had been done.

The devastated mother said the drive to the hospital was the most horrific and heartbreaking 10 minutes of her life.

“To hear the unbearable pain your child is in and not be able to soothe her or take it away messes with your head – pushing you to dig deep and find strength,” she wrote.

“Watching her tiny little body laying limp on the hospital bed with cords and tubes running everywhere crippled me.”

Ms Pickering said she had no reservations about letting her toddler run barefoot around the park given it wasn’t overly hot.

“What you don’t expect to have to tell your children is to watch out for scorching HOT metal covers placed right in the path of little feet at a Splash and Play Water Park of all places,” she added.

“Had it been a cracking hot day it makes sense that you would have your kids wear shoes. You don’t expect a 25-28 degree day to be of any real concern especially when there are children running around everywhere.”

She said “the negligence” of her local council and their engineers were to blame for the injuries – injuries that she says she never wants to see another young family have to live through.

“These images are etched into my mind and every time we have someone ask what happened the emotions come racing back – mostly now in the form of anger,” she wrote.

Her Facebook post warning other parents has been shared nearly 2000 times.

But as one person pointed out, “Shoes or no shoes it doesn’t matter! It could’ve been just as easy hands or some other part of the body!
Thank you Simone for sharing your story, I really hope it will help other mums be more cautious and hopefully council will rethink their design or maybe put labels/warning signs.”

Share your comments below

  • What a horrible situation to be in.


  • That poor little mite. Hope she is going to be okay. The council need to fix this problem immediately.


  • I have heard about children who have got injured on the rubber matting surface in school yards, playgrounds etc. Some of them are poor quality and tend to melt easily once they get hot on a sunny day. At one school there has been a couple of accidents where children playing with balls and running have got one shoe stuck to the surface and fallen breaking at least one ankle and getting other injuries. The surface is hot enough to cause serious burns like those shown above if nay bare skin touches it. It may be that some places use cheap low quality product. It have seen areas in playgrounds where the joins have lifted or cracked causing a safety hazard.


  • Very dangerous when it is near a wet area where many kids would be walking barefoot.


  • Oh ouch, I hope she recovers quickly


  • OMG that poor little one and her mother. Often I am at the playground scratching my head wondering why something was put there. Maybe there needs to be a parents committee overseeing playground construction.


  • Omg how bad does that look hope the little girl is ok .


  • OMG, this is terrible Often the planners and engineers are not parents and do not troubleshoot. It makes sense not to have metal plates in an outdoor area. This poor family. Councils and planners should take note of this.

    • Metal does get incredibly hot and retains heat.


  • The burns look very painful, no one would like to go through this.


  • Oh my word, that’s horrific! I used to live in Ipswich and know this place- the council really need to put more thought in about things like this. But I know from experience that the council in Ipswich are pretty lousy and only interested in lining their pockets.


  • I read this y’day on facebook.
    Poor bubba, it looks so sore ! I always like to check the heat of the equipments before playing and the concrete or rubber tiles as well, they can become so bloody hot.


  • This is terrible,I understand these grates have to be this way but councils or goverments need to start using a brain,Maybe have a removable statue placed on top some how?There could be something done.Cheer’s Krusty.


  • Poor little one – looks so painful! :( Hope this is rectified to prevent this from happening to anyone else.


  • That’s horrible. I hope that they fix this so no one else gets hurt


  • Poor child! It’s a water play area though – I am not in Queensland but I would have thought it normal to take shoes off if you’re splashing in the water. I have a child who takes her shoes off every possible opportunity! I don’t blame her, I like my feet to be free


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