Mom suffers severe foot burns after stepping on sand under 'cold' disposable barbecue

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A mother in the U.K. underwent surgery on Monday to treat the second- and third-degree burns on her foot that she got while standing on an area of sand that hours earlier had housed a disposable barbecue. Ruth Jenkins, who shared her photos on Facebook as a warning to others, said that the barbecue had been out for over four hours when her injuries occurred.


"The barbecues were stone cold and we started removing them in order to dispose of them," Jenkins, who was visiting Tor Bay Beach in Swansea with her family, told SWNS. "After the first was picked up I stepped forward while I was barefoot to pick up the second, onto the sand that the first had been on."

Jenkins said she quickly noticed pain in her foot that was traveling up her leg and hopped off the sand. She was rushed to the hospital and transferred to a burns unit due the severity of her injuries. She told SWNS that she was discharged after the blisters and dead skin had been removed but wound up back in the hospital with an infection.

On Monday, she went into surgery for a skin graft, which she said could "take up to a couple of months to heal."

"Most of us have heard warnings of burying BBQ coals in the sand, this is due to sand being excellent at retaining heat," she told her Facebook followers last week. "Well, the same applies to BBQs that have been placed directly on sand, ours had been put out for OVER 4 HOURS. I'm just glad it wasn't any of the children who were with us…or even someone else after had left the beach."

Jenkins warned that when water had been poured on the sand nearly five hours later, "it boiled and evaporated on contact!"

"If you are going to use throwaway or portable BBQs on the beach, PLEASE REMEMBER: Try to keep them safely above the sand, on purpose built stands or rocks," she wrote. "Do not assume that a cold BBQ means the sand is safe. Ensure the sand underneath is completely cooled as soon as possible and definitely before you leave the beach. Be aware of anyone walking near the affected sand, especially children and dogs."

It was not clear if the Jenkins had purchased disposable barbecues, or if they had configured their own at home. Her warning has been shared over 5,500 times, and as of Monday had garnered over 1,200 comments.