In June last year, Milli Radcliffe came home from a party feeling hungry.
The 8-year-old went to the kitchen to prepare one of her favourite snacks, instant noodles, just like she had done so many times before.
However, this time, she decided to sit down on the couch to eat with the bowl of hot noodles resting in her lap, rather than the table.
“It all happened so fast,” recalls her father Mat. “Milla was sitting eating when I heard her scream. I won’t ever forget it.”
Some of the hot water from the bowl had spilled on Milla’s lap, causing her to jump up and drop the entire scolding hot contents onto her legs.
Milla ended up suffering from severe burns around the inside of her thighs and groin area.
“I was so scared,” Milla recalls. “The pain was horrible – on a scale from 1 to 10 it was definitely a 10!”
While Mat was shocked, fortunately, he knew the correct first aid treatment for burns and immediately leaped into action.
“I thought for a moment that the noodles had stuck to her, but it was actually her skin bubbling and peeling,” Mat explains. “I felt sick, but knew I had to get water on her and the ambulance called.”
“Within seconds I had her pants off and running her legs and groin under cool water. She was sobbing and in shock.”
Mat’s quick thinking, along with a trip to the hospital, played a significant role in her recovery.
Thankfully, she was home in just 24 hours, despite being very sore and with an ongoing routine to manage her pain and injuries.
One year on, Milla is still impacted by the terrifying incident. She has permanent scarring, requires dressings, frequent moisturiser, and will likely need operations down the track.
Thankfully, she can still do cartwheels, which was one of her main concerns.
Her message to other kids is very simple: “Always sit down with your food and don’t put it on your lap.”
This article originally appeared on Over60.