Toddler suffers second degree burns after walking on rubber playground matting.

A QLD Mum has been trolled after sharing her story to warn other families about the dangers of hot rubber matting in playgrounds after her toddler received second-degree burns.

Jessica Mead, 29, said her 15-month-old son, Jackson, had been running around barefoot on an oval on The Strand in Townsville with his cousins when he pushed a scooter over to a nearby playground while she packed up about 11.30am.

“Then I heard an ear-piercing scream and instantly I knew it was hot,” she told Courier Mail.

“Instead of moving, because after all he’s still only a little toddler, he just stood there screaming.

“He was just kind of stuck to the ground, like he was stuck in mud, so I’ve dropped my breakfast and run to him which felt like really slow motion to me.”

Mrs Mead scooped up Jackson and saw that the toddler’s feet had blistered immediately, so she poured water on his feet from a water bottle and breastfed him until he calmed down.

She then ran him over to one of the beach showers and to a lifeguard first aid station, but the lifeguards were out on patrol.

“I sat with Jackson under a tap while Kellie finished packing up the car and her three young boys,” she said.

“As a new mum I wasn’t sure what to do and I didn’t know how bad the burn actually was at first.

“I knew water or ice would be the best thing for a burn. Rather than race straight to the emergency room with a hysterical toddler, I took him to my sister’s house, which is closer than the hospital.

“I jumped in the pool with him, which calmed him down, and called a house doctor.”

Bad Burn

The doctor initially told them it looked like a first-degree burn and treated and bandaged the little foot, advising Ms Mead to keep it dry from now on to prevent infection.

Mrs Mead said when her GP checked Jackson at his appointment the next day, the foot had blistered with it now being categorised as a second-degree, superficial burns.

“I felt pretty stupid,” Mrs Mead said.

“Other kids had run onto the playground as well, but Jackson must have run onto the hottest part.

“There were shade sails over the park, but there were gaps that let the sun through in some areas.

“As a new mum, it was probably my realisation that things can happen in 10 seconds.”

“Our doctor told us Jackson was the third child she had seen that week with similar burns, including another one from a similar park and one from a day care where the staff had apparently forgotten to put away a rubber mat before the kids went outside,” she said.

Mrs Mead, who together with her sister Kellie Stephenson, started the blog OMG I’m that Mum in 2015, said she decided to post about how her son’s feet got burnt as a warning to others.

She wrote on her blog that “mum guilt” lingers even when reminded it was an accident.

The response to her story has been quite shocking with some comments including…..

“Story should be titled “Irresponsible Mother Takes No Responsibility For Own Child’s Injuries” with a sub-heading of “Parent forgets to have child wear shoes”

“What about if it’s that hot don’t take your kid to the park! It’s not just about the ground but anything metal and the plastic gets hot and can burn, even the sand can burn (not that bad but it still gets hot) I’m in agreement above though my kids always wear shoes!”

“For gods sakes why is this even news? Use some common sense and put some god damn shoes on your kids to go outside in summer! “

“On hot days and most playground have rubber matting common sense should tell you to make sure your child keeps there shoes on…simple!!!”

“Simple!! Shoes is the answer. Who knows what is on the ground in those places.”

“Shoes. It’s a no brainier. Sadly brains appear lacking here…”

It is just a simple reminder from a caring mum. Why do we always need to be so rude and judgemental?

It could happen to anyone!


Share your comments below.

  • so many judgemental people – “there for the grace….” as mine is still a barefoot preference kid even at 8.


  • wow! poor kid! as she stated, she had him running on the grass! he was getting that sensory experience and then quickly ran somewhere that he shouldn’t have! he would most likely have had shoes there as well. Sometimes kids just don’t want to wear them either!


  • Keyboard trolls and warriors are the worst! It’s an honest mistake that hopefully others will learn by. Half of the time the children take their own shoes off! Hope he is on the mend.


  • I’m sorry that you have had to put up with all that negativity. It’s okay to say put shoes on your child but how many kids take them off asap. You did the right thing with the cold water. Hope Jackson gets well soon and you can forget all the bad things said to you. Keep your chin up and give Jackson a hug


  • I hope that he will get well soon.


  • Amazing…..all those Mums whos children will never have anything ever happen to them because they of course have SUPER PERFECTION MUM. *rolls my eyes* ….
    My kids are young adults now and they were left to run with out shoes. My eldest got a nail in her foot while chasing her sister along the front of our house. No idea where the nail came from. Trip to the Doctors to have that sorted. Wouldnt have mattered if she had shoes on or not.
    My middle daughter fell out of a tree and cut her leg open. It was treated at home and she was fine. She continued to climb trees.
    My youngest cut her leg open while chasing her sister through the house and slipping just as she went out the sliding door.

    Kids do things….they hurt themselves…it happens. I dont agree with having kids in shoes all the time. Their little feet need to be free of shoes at times. this Mum did nothing wrong….it was an accident.


  • Praying for a very speedy recovery for this little tot.
    And if this mum can save another tot from this horrible experience by publishing this story than some good has come out of some bad.


  • No one should have to cop abuse like this after an incident that was so clearly an accident. And I’ll admit it- I’m very funny myself about my kids always wearing shoes when they go outside even in the backyard. But in all honesty, we’re talking about a toddler and they do like to take their shoes off and things can happen in a split second.


  • Ooh, I’ve never heard of such an injury. A great story to share for others to learn from. The rest of it, not necessary. It happened to this poor child, and now the parent is sharing it as a community service announcement.


  • Poor Jackson , hope he heals well and soon !!
    And poor mummy, all those negative comments !! Hope she can shake them off and warm herself at the good intentioned messages.


  • Wow, harsh much? We mums need to support each other in times not tear each other down. We are human and we try to do what is best for our kids, we can’t have our eyes glued to them 24/7. This mum already feels guilty about the incident. Why do other mums feel the need to make her feel worse


  • All these comments about not wearing shoes – leading advise now is that children under a certain age should be shoeless as much as possible to learn to walk properly anyway. Unfortunately a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I say thanks for the warning!


  • Poor little one – bet this puts his walking back for a while – so painful to walk on feet like that.


  • The main thing is. Is the little boy alright
    Some people have nothing better to do than attack people
    We are not little kids people grow up & shut up


  • I hope the little one makes a quick recovery. As soon as the little one stepped onto the wrong place on the matting he would have been stuck. Pity she wasn’t able to jump straight under a cold shower with him, clothes and all. When something like that happens your immediate thought is what do I do first? Unfortunately the chemical in the pool may have made it worse.
    I recently spoke to a Mum who has children at a school with rubber matting. Children playing sports on it in sports shoes have got stuck nd have twisted and broken their ankles. I was also told that some of the matting imported was inferior quality. I no longer take our children to a playground with the matting if it is warm that day or has been the day before.


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