Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 16:49 UK

Baby burnt on Brighton beach 'seriously injured'

Brighton beach on Sunday
The baby was on the beach on one of the hottest days of the year

A five-month-old boy was taken to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries after spending a day in the sun on Brighton beach.

The child was with his 29-year-old mother who was visiting the south coast from London on Sunday, one of the hottest days of the year.

Police community support officers intervened after they saw the baby suffering from sunburn.

The Royal Sussex Hospital said 40% of his body surface area was burnt.

The child was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital as temperatures in the sun reached 25C (77F).

Sussex Police said no arrests had been made, while Metropolitan Police officers said they were not aware of the case.

'Risk of sunstroke'

A burns specialist from The Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) in East Grinstead, West Sussex - who is consulting with the Royal Sussex - said the boy was in a stable condition on Tuesday, but his injuries could have been potentially life-threatening.

Baljit Dheansa, a consultant burns and plastics surgeon at the QVH's specialist burns unit, was called by the Royal Sussex for specialist advice on Sunday.

Baljit Dheansa is a consultant burns and plastics surgeon at the Queen Victoria Hospital specialist burns unit

He said the baby's skin had already started to show signs of blistering.

Mr Dheansa explained that the danger of blistering was that it could lead to the loss of body fluids.

In a five-month-old baby, this could ultimately lead to risks of dehydration, low blood pressure and kidney failure.

The baby boy remained in hospital on Tuesday.

NHS Brighton and Hove health promotion specialist Carolyn Syverson said: "Babies and young children are particularly at risk of sunburn and heatstroke.

"Very young children should be kept in the shade; older children, when out in the sun, should wear protective clothing including a hat, have high factor sun cream regularly applied and drink lots of fluids to stay safe and well."

She added: "People in this country tend to think of sunburn as something that happens on holiday, but most cases of sunburn happen in the UK rather than abroad."



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