Boy's Skin Peels Off 'Like Melted Wax' at Beach After Stepping on Hot Sand

A father has spoken of the dangers of disposable BBQs after the skin on his son's foot peeled off and "melted" like wax when he stepped on boiling hot sand.

Will Tyler was at a beach near Liverpool in northwest England with his parents, sister and family friends on June 1 last year when they used a disposable BBQ to grill some sausages, the Liverpool Echo reported. The parents let the BBQ cool and placed it so the children could play safely. Will was 9 at the time.

His father, Toby Tyler, told the news outlet: "The bottom of the tray was on the sand, which I now know meant the heat was being sent down into the sand and the foil surface was trapping it there.

"When we moved the barbecue, the top of the sand cooled, but underneath it was still roasting hot as the heat had just been trapped there. We learned later it can stay dangerously hot for hours and hours.

"The kids were running around playing when suddenly Will just screamed. As a parent, it's the worst sound I'd ever heard and it's a sound I'll never forget."

Toby Tyler said: "He pulled his foot out of the sand and his skin was peeling off his foot like melted wax."

Will Tyler was left with severe burns to both of his feet. He spent eight nights at a children's hospital in the city of Manchester, where he received treatment including a skin graft from his right thigh for his left foot.

On the day of the incident, the group had walked over sand dunes on the beach so they would be away from other people.

When the boy burned his feet, his father had to carry him for 20 minutes over the dunes so he could get to the hospital.

After being discharged, he initially used a wheelchair and other equipment before he was able to walk again. He is still recovering well, although it is unclear if he will need further surgery in the future.

To raise money for the burns unit that treated him, Will set himself a series of challenges, starting on June 1 when he walked 8 kilometers (5 miles) at Formby beach, the place where he was burned.

He also plans to spend eight minutes in an ice bath, get eight friends to shave their heads, have an outdoor sleepover for eight nights, bake a cake with eight layers, and go on a virtual bike ride that will replicate the 100 miles he traveled on the day of his accident.

Will, now 10 years old, has so far raised almost £2,700 ($3,806) for the hospital.

A message on Will Tyler's JustGiving page described the care and attention given at the hospital as "extraordinary," particularly from the burns unit.

"They nurtured and cared for us through the trauma of the accident, surgery and for eight nights in hospital (under the restraints of covid). They encouraged and supported Will through initial reuse of his feet, the use of his wheel chair and walking frames," it said.

It said the burns teams' "personal commitment and attention has been beyond praise."

child hospital patient, getty
A stock image shows a parent holding the hand of a child hooked up to an IV drip. Will Tyler spent eight nights in hospital after suffering burns to his feet. Getty Images