I remember driving my parents nuts when I came inside with dirty feet in the summer, but there was something great about it being warm enough to just run outside on a whim, shoes or not.
And aside from annoyance, my parents, like many, had no reservations about it. But one mother and her little son learned the hard way that rubber matting at playgrounds can spell disaster for tiny bare feet.
Jessica Mead's 15-month-old son, Jackson, wandered around barefoot as Mom gathered up their things to go. When she was packing up the stroller, she heard an ear-piercing scream.
She dropped what she was doing and ran to her child, who was frozen in place and obviously in immense pain.
When she picked him up, she realized that his feet had blistered horribly. The baby was understandably frazzled, so she poured cool water on his feet and began breastfeeding to calm him down and figure out what to do next.
Jackson Mead suffers second degree burns after walking on playground matting https://t.co/gTVfvEx9aN— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) February 7, 2017
She went home to keep Jackson calm and comfortable. There, she called her family doctor to make a home visit. He informed her that her child suffered second-degree superficial burns.
"I felt pretty stupid," Mead explained to the Daily Telegraph. But it was an honest mistake. She'd seen other children running around barefoot, as most of the area was shaded by tree cover. Little Jackson just managed to find one spot on the rubber that was exposed to direct sunlight.
The error was so common, in fact, their doctor had seen two other children with similar burns that same week. Everyone involved was surprised to know that rubber playground matting was the culprit and not hot pavement or cement.
If your child ever experiences something like this, here's what a spokesperson speaking out about Jackson's case advises: Run water over the burn for 20 minutes, but don't use ice or extremely cold water. She also suggests that children wear shoes at all times, since it's hard to tell just how hot these surfaces can get.
(source: The Daily Telegraph)