A concerned mum has told how she feared her little girl would lose her foot after it was slashed open by a metal barbecue that was discarded on the beach.
Megan Hanson, six, was playing near Starr Gate with her grandparents last Saturday when she stepped on the disposable metal barbecue, cutting her left foot so badly that she required emergency reconstructive surgery.
Doctors initially warned the Stanah Primary School pupil, who lives in Thornton, they may not be able to save her foot due to the severity of the wound.
Her mum Suzanne, 33, said: “It went all the way to the tendons. I can’t even begin to explain how painful it was for her.
“She’s on painkillers and antibiotics.”
She told The Gazette how surgeons used ‘more stitches than they could write down’ to repair the V-shaped slice stretching from her daughter’s big toe to the base of her leg.
“The injury was so intense she had stitches underneath her skin as well,” she said.
Suzanne and her husband Neil were on holiday in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, when Megan was injured at around 4pm on Saturday.
They rushed to her side at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she spent 24 hours on an antibiotic drip.
She is now recovering at home, though it is not known how long it will be before she is well enough to go back to school.
Suzanne, who works as a dementia support worker, said: “Megan is in a plaster cast because she can’t move her foot at all. We’re having to carry her around.
“It was a real concern she would lose her foot because of all the contamination around the wound. She’s been so, so lucky.”
She said her ‘super brave’ girl was unable to do things she enjoys – like going for walks and playing with her cousins – because of the injury. She has also had to withdraw from her school play.
The mum-of-two blamed the litterbugs who dumped rubbish on the beach for her daughter’s injury.
She said: “I have been down to the beach and it is littered with left-over barbecues and broken bottles. It’s just a disgrace.
“It’s disgusting and it’s dangerous.
“The beaches are there for everyone to enjoy. It’s not about spoiling people’s fun, its just about picking up after yourself.
“My daughter doesn’t want to go on the beach again. She’s petrified.
“All I would say is please think before you leave rubbish about.”
A Fylde Council spokesman said: “We are very sorry about the injury that has been caused by negligence on behalf of whoever left the disposable barbecue on the beach.
“The Council provides adequate receptacles for the public to use and has a cleaning and emptying schedule as well as coast and countryside rangers that check the area.
“However, some irresponsible members of the public choose not to use the bins provided and bury waste or even tip over the bins which can result in injuries such as this one.
“We encourage all members of the public to either use the bins provided to discard of their rubbish, or take it home with them to avoid such injuries occurring again.”
In May, Fylde councillors announced they were looking into the use of a public space protection order to guard against problems caused by barbecues following incidents where benches were burned and patches of grass scorched at Fairhaven Lake.
In 2015, The Gazette reported how 10-year-old Emmalee McCormick suffered a similar foot injury caused by a discarded barbecue while she was playing on Fleetwood beach.