A toddler will have permanent scars after someone left hot coals and rocks lying in the sand in Oceanside.
18-month-old June Mellos fell onto discarded barbecue coals in the sand at the beach at Cassidy Street on Saturday evening. The victim’s parents say she basically walked into an unintentional booby trap.
The toddler suffered second-degree burns on both of her hands.
“The hand is completely fleshy. The fingers, these three digits here are bloody. This part of the hand is completely peeled away,” said June’s mother, Naomi Mellos.
Someone had left burning coals, along with rocks from the beach, which had been used for a barbeque.
“You have what looked liked an innocent pile of rocks incorporated with the other piles of rocks,” said her father Nick Mello.
June is undergoing treatment at the UCSD Burn Center in San Diego. Her bandages have to be changed twice a day, which is a painful process.
The incident happened at a stretch of beach where there are no barbeque pits and no containers for beachgoers to dump their coals. It is legal to grill there, but firefighters say once you’re done just pour water over the coals so you can safely take them off the sand.
“As soon as it starts cooling off to the point you can touch it. It’ll also stop steaming,” said Oceanside Fire Department spokesperson Rob Dunham.
June’s mom says taking those few extra minutes could have prevented this from happening to her daughter.
“They’re not paying the price. She is. She’s the one who has to suffer through this,” she said.
It’s unclear how much longer June will have to stay in the hospital. The “Baby June Burn Fund” has been setup to help the family with medical costs. You can donate to PO Box 1276, Oceanside, CA 92051.