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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 08:05 GMT
'My child was burned'
Thomas Johansen
Thomas' wounds are still healing
Karen Johansen's son Thomas was burned when he stepped into a hot bath - and his wounds are still healing.

As the government launches a major campaign to try to cut the number of household scalding accidents happening to young children, she spoke about her experiences.

"I only left him for a moment," said Karen Johansen, speaking about the bathtime accident which left Thomas with severe burns.

She had already bathed the toddler, but after lifting him from the bath, she left the hot tap running and was temporarily distracted.

Thomas climbed back into the bath, which was now at a dangerously hot temperature.

Both his feet were burned, and so far he has required four skin grafts, although doctors are confident that he will not be seriously scarred for life by the incident.

She said: "I knew the water was hot but you don't really realise how hot it is until something like this happens to you.

"You never think it could happen to your own."

In the moments after the accident, which Karen, from south Wales, says felt like hours, she managed to do the right thing - running Thomas' burns under cold water to limit the damage inflicted.

I think: 'Why did I leave him, Why did I do this, why didn't I remember that?

Karen Johansen
The accident has left her entire family mentally scarred, she says, with the inevitable feelings of guilt.

"It didn't just shock me it shocked the whole family."

"I think: 'Why did I leave him, Why did I do this, why didn't I remember that?'"

"When I found him, it felt like I was sitting there for hours, even though it was only seconds."

Thomas still has to wear special foot dressings to speed the healing.

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See also:

14 Mar 01 | Health
Campaign to cut household scalds
27 Dec 99 | Health
Saving your skin
05 Jan 01 | Health
Child burns victims failed
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