Townsville mum Jess Mead, 29, was eating her breakfast as she watched her 15-month-old son, Jackson, play with his cousins, barefoot, on a grassy oval where she and her sister Kellie Stephenson were sitting.
According to The Courier Mail, as the two mums began to pack up their things to head home for the day, Jackson pushed his scooter towards a nearby playground .
It was then that Ms Mead heard her son’s “ear-piercing” scream.
Ms Mead rushed to her son, scooping him up to find that his feet had blistered from the hot playground mat, which had hit scorching temperatures in the 11:30am heat, immediately.
“As a new mum, I wasn’t sure what to do and I didn’t know how bad the burn actually was at first,” she says.
“I ran so fast to grab him. [Ms Mead and Ms Stephenson] came back to the shady tree and I tipped water on his feet and gave him a feed and he calmed down momentarily and then started screaming again.”
“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.”
The house doctor initially said Jackson had suffered first-degree burns, bandaging his feet and telling Ms Mead to keep his feet dry.
Although, the next day, Ms Mead’s GP upgraded the diagnosis of the burns to second degree.
Jackson is said to be recovering well after the February 5 incident, walking on his heels temporarily to ease the pain in his feet, but Ms Mead says that it’s moments like this that serve as a harsh reminder of just how dangerous Australia’s summer sunshine can be.
“Let this be a reminder to all parents to check the surfaces before kids play, and if I'm not already stating the obvious, hats and shoes aren't negotiable in summer!” she warns.