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Baby’s pain after burning hand on hot coals from abandoned barbecue

PUBLISHED: 16:57 13 September 2018 | UPDATED: 19:37 13 September 2018

The burn on Zachary Richards' hand after crawling over an abandoned disposable barbecue. Photo: Phoebe Richards

The burn on Zachary Richards' hand after crawling over an abandoned disposable barbecue. Photo: Phoebe Richards

A baby boy suffered burns to his hand after crawling over an abandoned disposable barbecue in a Norwich park.

Wensum Park, Norwich. Picture: Nick ButcherWensum Park, Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher

One-year-old Zachary Richards cried with pain when his left hand was burnt by hot coals while feeding the ducks with his dad in Wensum Park on Sunday, September 2.

His mum Phoebe, 31, said: “We always take him to the park, he loves it there.

“His father saw the disposable barbecue on the grass and assumed it had been there for a while but avoided it anyway, and once Zachary began crying his father saw the hot coals on the grass.”

The youngster was taken to the park’s public toilets, where cold water was applied to the second degree burn. He was later taken to a walk-in centre.

Miss Richards, who is a nursery nurse at Cleverclogs on Dereham Road, said: “We waited for an hour before they bandaged up the burn and told us to come back for check ups.

“It’s healing well which is good, it’s just disgraceful that people behave in this way and can be so irresponsible, especially in public places where children play.”

The park, owned by Norwich City Council, is classed as a toddler and junior park on the council’s website.

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “We were very sorry to hear about the accident in Wensum Park. We don’t allow barbecues, braziers or open fires in any of our parks.

“This is for health and safety reasons and to prevent damage to the site.”

Miss Richards said: “I understand that it’s nice to have a barbecue in the park on a sunny day, but it’s simple to dispose of rubbish.

“This wasn’t just dangerous for children, there is lots of wildlife such as geese and swans in the park. This could have been a lot worse, I’m just glad my son is okay.”

The council spokesperson said: “Some events are permitted to have barbecues but these have been risk assessed and protection measures are put in place to stop the ground underneath being damaged.

“If anyone sees a barbecue taking place or there is litter left from one, please report it to grounds staff in the park or directly to the council.”

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