'Amazing' recovery of Cambridgeshire boy whose skin came off 'in handfuls' after coffee burns

  • Watch Matthew Hudson's report on Arthur's "amazing" recovery.

A little boy whose skin came off "in handfuls" after suffering third-degree burns from a spilled pot of coffee has made an "amazing" recovery.

Arthur Hitchings was just two years old when he climbed on a stool at his home near Ely in Cambridgeshire and grabbed a cafetiere from the kitchen side, covering himself in boiling hot coffee.

His mother Laura heard his screams and ran cold water over him while calling 999.

Paramedics took Arthur to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where he remained for 10 days.

He needed a three-and-a-half hour procedure to remove dead skin and three skin graft operations.

Arthur Hitchings needed three skin graft operations Credit: Laura Hitchings

Now, Arthur is six years old and although he will have scars for the rest of his life, he has made an "amazing" recovery.

Ms Hitchings, from Stretham, said: "Luckily, he has healed. He will have the scars for life but... he owns them. He's quite happy to show them to people. He's a very happy young boy."

In the last 10 years in the East of England, some 6,000 children under 16 have been scalded or badly burnt by things such as hot liquids.

Nationally, on average around 30 children a day are burned or scalded badly enough to need hospital treatment.

Arthur Hitchings suffered third degree burns. Credit: Laura Hitchings

And although Arthur has come to terms with what happened to him, his mother said that parents can often take longer to forgive themselves.

She has become an ambassador for the charity the Children's Burns Trust, where she hopes to be able to support other families.

She has set up a Facebook page for parents whose children have been hurt to get help, support and advice.

Ms Hitchings said: "I felt so alone when it happened and you will always blame yourself.

"But parents and carers aren't alone when it happens. It happens on a daily basis to many people. And it's just raising awareness that it does happen and they can get through it."

Ken Dunn, a trustee at the charity, said: "It is extremely difficult to constantly supervise children but I think having a fairly high level of suspicion of how high they can reach, how fast they can move is a really good way of thinking what could happen."

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