A TODDLER was left screaming in agony after he was scalded by boiling water at a beach toilets.
Jayne Meek and her two-year-old son Dean Forrest, were enjoying a family day out at Seaburn beach when the pair visited a public loo to clean up.
But within moments of switching on the tap, the tot was sprayed with hot water from a suspected malfunctioning boiler.
The 27-year-old, from Hylton Castle, said: “I didn’t have any water to rinse the sand off Dean, so I took him into the toilets at the beach.
“I ran the hot tap and the water was coming out lovely and warm. I put him in the sink then suddenly lots of boiling water started gushing out.
“He started screaming and I had to put him in another sink with cold water because his feet were scalded.
“I got my mum to call the council and see if there was any lifeguards to look at his burns, but we were told it would be at least a 15-minute wait because they were picking up rubbish on the beach,” said Jayne.
“About 10 minutes later a man from the council came out and said the thermostat had broken and that’s why the boiling water had come out.
“He said he was going to have to shut the toilets down because they were too dangerous for public use.”
Jayne said terrified Dean has been left traumatised by the accident.
“Dean used to love water and now if I tell him he’s going to go in the bath he says no,” said Jayne.
“I’m having a hard time getting him in the bath and to like water again.”
Jayne is now angry about what has happened and worried about the safety of other children during the summer months.
“What angers me is that there was no sign cautioning about boiling water,” she said.
“We went and double checked and there was not one sign.
“I think they put signs up to warn people and they should have better facilities, there’s nothing to help you clean your children down.
“I gave the council my telephone number and they and they still have not apologised about what’s happened.”
Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, apologised to the family and said the local authority was introducing measures to prevent future incidents.
“We would like to apologise again to the family, and hope that Dean is feeling better after his unfortunate experience,” he said. “We would also like to thank the family for bringing our attention to the problems with the hot water in the toilets, so we could take immediate action.
“Water temperatures in boilers have to be kept at certain levels to prevent bacteria developing and there are ‘hot water’ warning signs above every sink which we would ask everyone to take notice of, but there was a temporary problem with the thermostat which has now been resolved.
“Regular maintenance and cleanliness checks of all our public toilets are carried out by staff each morning, and we will be extra vigilant in future to prevent something like this from happening again.”