It’s beginning to get chilly and we’re probably all starting to think about doing the big seasonal swap over – put the fans away and dust off the heaters and heavy dooners.
We know that heaters are generally safe if used correctly but one mum was left traumatised after an inadvertent heater accident caused a massive explosion in her house, leading to a deep cut on her young daughter’s head, so serious that she had to be airlifted to the nearest hospital.
The brave mum has reached out to us and shared her story and hopes to warn other parents of heater safety and the harsh consequences if something goes wrong.
The Heat Got Too Much!
“A few days ago at around 11:30am I lit my combustion heater for the first time since last winter! I was so excited to finally feel the warmth (I was so excited to dry my washing),” Karissa, the Aussie mum of three, told us.
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“I thought I’ll quickly get some cleaning up done. I cleaned the bathroom and went outside for five minutes. As I was coming back inside I heard a loud bang. It sounded like a gun had just gone off and I heard screaming.”
A Hole In The Wall And Cut In Her Skull
“I raced into the lounge room and all I could see was my daughter Sydney (10 years) sitting on the couch with blood running down her neck and a large hole in my wall that I could see straight outside. Sydney was screaming: “my heads bleeding!”
“My younger daughter Patence, 9, was also screaming and my 13-year-old son Dom raced out of his room. I couldn’t work out what happened. Did my fire explode? Did a gun get shot outside and blow a hole through the wall? Meanwhile, I was standing above Sydney with my hand compressed on her head with Dom and Patence crying hysterically.”
I Tried To Stay Calm Amidst The Hysteria
“I asked Dom to call 000 and asked Patence to stop crying and get me a towel. After I had the towel, I told Patence to get my phone and ring dad. My husband arrived as the ambulance arrived.”
The Danger Of Aerosol Cans And Heat
Karissa eventually worked out that one of the kids had grabbed the fly spray can to zap an insect and had innocently placed it on top of the heater not realising the imminent danger.
“I didn’t see it when I lit the fire and it exploded,” Karissa explained.
It Could Have Been Worse!
“The aerosol shot the approximately 4 metres across my lounge room to the couch where it collided with Sydney’s head then blew a hole in the wall! Sydney was watching her iPad at the time and if she hadn’t been, she would have been hit directly in the face.”
The mum said that the injury had left the young girl with a huge laceration around 10cm by 5cm on her scalp where the skin needed to be reattached.
Airlifted To The Hospital
“The ambulance took us to the local hospital, and from there we were put in an ambulance and flown to the nearest children’s hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We then waited for plastic surgeons to come and sew her scalp back on as it was sliced down to her skull.”
Karissa has reported back that Sydney is doing well after her traumatic ordeal. She is back home and has dodged any permanent damage.
“This is just a reminder that as you light your fires or turn on your heaters this winter be absolutely sure you check the area first. I would never wish something like this to happen to anyone else.”
Do you use heating at home? What kind of heating do you use? Tell us in the comments below.