Luton mum warns of dangers of hot liquids after baby severely scalded by coffee

  • ITV Anglia's Callum Fairhurst went to meet Simona Belcheva, whose daughter Alayla was left scalded after she reached for a hot mug of coffee. Some viewers may find these pictures distressing.

A baby suffered serious injuries after being scalded by hot liquid - just a day after her first birthday.

Alayla Belcheva, from Luton, was left scalded after she reached for a hot mug of coffee which fell on her head and face, leaving her with 7% mixed-depth scald burns and scarring as a result.

Her mother Simona Belcheva said Alayla's injuries were so bad she could not see for two days.

"I heard a loud bang and a loud scream, I looked and she was on the floor," she said.

"I ran to her and just saw she was covered in the coffee… I've got a baby and her face is literally peeling off.

"I think having your child be blind, and not being able to see you, you have to use your other senses and try and make sure that you are there."

Ms Belcheva is now warning other parents to not leave hot drinks unattended. Credit: ITV News

Alayla was sent to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford in Essex for treatment.

Nurses at the hospital are now urging parents to act quickly if the same thing happens to their child.

Sue Boasman, advanced nurse practitioner at St Andrew's Burns Service, said: "Get them to cool water as soon as possible, whether that be jumping in the shower with them fully clothed to start with, get that burn cooled down.

"Then get the clothing off as quickly as possible, and 20 minutes of cool running water, no ice, no creams - don't use anything weird and wonderful like egg white or toothpaste - just literally cool water for about 20 minutes.”

Alayla has now made a full recovery and Ms Belcheva is now using her experience to raise awareness about what happened by setting up a TikTok page.

"There has been a lot of negative comments, just people saying 'you're a bad mum, it's your fault'," she said.

"I've also had people find my email address and sending death threats.

"Instead of the negativity putting me down, I'm [think] if people are negative, they can simply ignore and block me."

Alayla was sent to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford for treatment. Credit: ITV News

The Children's Burns Trust said incidents like Alayla's could happen to any child or parents.

"The majority of accidents that cause burns and scalds to babies and children involve hot drinks," said Ken Dunn, the vice chairman.

The latest figures from Children's Burns Trust show that in 2023, 980 children under 16 years old in East Anglia were admitted to a specialist burns unit with a serious burn injury, he said.

"The main cause of these burns were from hot drinks. Even more worryingly this figure does not include the injuries that were seen and discharged from A&E departments.

"By raising awareness of the risks of hot drinks around young children and the need to keep hot drinks out of reach - as well as the correct first aid should an injury occur - we can help to reduce the number and resultant scarring of these devastating injuries that take place each year."

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