Toddler burnt the morning after fire-pit had been extinguished

Two-and-a-half year old Tristan is recovering after falling into a fire pit.
Two-and-a-half year old Tristan is recovering after falling into a fire pit. Photo: Facebook/Shelley LeBlanc-Cormier

The mother of a toddler who was badly burnt after falling into a fire pit, has spoken out about the harrowing accident to raise awareness of the dangers of extinguished fires.

In an emotional Facebook Live video a teary Shelley Le Blanc-Cormier of Edmonton, Canada, shared that her two-and-a-half-year old son Tristan had sustained second and third degree burns after the incident.

"This afternoon, my son fell into our fire pit ... we'd made a fire yesterday. There were no flames and it was just coils," she said, adding that 85 per cent of Tristan's left arm was burnt when he tripped and fell.

The family had been burning in the yard as part of a spring clean, extinguishing the fire 16 hours earlier. 

"Now please," she said. "I don't care if you're burning a fire, or you're cooking marshmallows for your kids, or having a couple of drinks, whatever it is. We were literally cleaning our yard and my father was watching our son and he was running and he tripped and fell in the fire pit."

Urging parents to be vigilant,and to keep their kids close, Ms LeBlanc-Cormier, added "I don't want anyone to feel this pain that I'm feeling right now."

After being admitted to Stollery Children's Hospital, Tristan underwent skin grafts from his lower back to replace the skin he lost from his left arm.
"The burn unit at the Stollery sees many many fire pit accidents," Ms LeBlanc-Cormier explained in a later Facebook update, explaining that most accidents occur when "the flames are on". 
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"So after 16 hours a lot of people don't know it's still a danger," she said.

Speaking to Global News, Ms LeBlanc-Cormier said she had learnt fires can burn for up to 24-48 hours afterwards, "depending on the temperature or the climate outside" and the type of fire pit being used.
It has since been removed from the family's backyard.
 
In an update on Tuesday, Ms LeBlanc-Cormier announced that three weeks after the accident, her son is doing "extremely well".
"His hand looks amazing," she wrote, adding that their doctor was confident Tristan wouldn't need any further surgeries for now. "He will have a fitted custom compression glove soon! Now time for him to start using it."
 
Tristan's grandmother, Sheila LeBlanc, has started a  Go Fund Me campaign on behalf of the family, to raise money for her grandson's treatment.
"We all know that tragic accidents are hard enough to deal with...without having to deal with financial stress," she wrote.
 According to a 2003 report published in the Medical Journal of Australia, 70 per cent of campfire injuries, sustained by children, were caused by hot embers rather than flames. In addition, most injuries happened the morning after the campfire "had been considered to be extinguished".
The researcher team advised campers against using sand to put out campfires.

"Because extinguishing a fire with sand only disguises the danger, campfire burn is a particular hazard for children," said lead author Dr John Fraser at the time.

"Campfire burns result in significant post-burn scarring, which requires recurrent expensive treatment as the child grows older.

"With camping a popular national pastime for Australians during the holidays, we advise parents to exercise particular care with campfires and kids.

"As a simple rule, use water not sand to put out your campfires," Dr Fraser said.