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The images of little Katie Clark's feet will make you wince. The bottoms of her sweet little toddler feet are covered in second and third degree burns after what was supposed to be a fun day out at the park.
It happened in Omaha, Nebraska, where Katie, a new walker, was at a splash park. Her mother, Allison Moody, said she looked away for just a minute, and that's when Katie stopped on a metal grate. With temperatures high, they metal was hot, and it scorched the girl's feet.
Moody told KETV: "I could tell by her face that she was scared, and I don't think she knew what was going on other than she was in pain." Local firefighters said the metal could have reached temperatures as high as 120-130 degrees.
It makes me hurt just thinking about it, and it's one of those things that can happen in a split second. One minute kids are barefoot and fancy free, and the next something like this happens. Doctors say Katie may need bandages for a couple of months, but hopefully there will be no long-term damage.
Katie's parents have approached the park to see about getting that particular grate covered or otherwise protect children in the area -- most who run around in bare feet -- from it. Hopefully the park will comply, as it seems destined to happen again if they don't.
For all parents, however, her case is an important reminder of just how scorching hot many surfaces can get in the summer. From slides and swings to concrete and patio furniture, it can take just seconds for little bodies to be badly burned. It's important to test surfaces before kids climb on them, and to watch the little ones who can and do pull off their shoes any chance they get.
Has your child ever been burned at a playground or by another outdoor surface?
Image via istolethetv/Flickr