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Burned boy critical at Cincinnati hospital

The 2-year-old's burns cover 52 percent of his body. He was flown to Ohio a day after he pulled a pot of boiling water off the stove at his Hudson home, officials said.

By TAMARA LUSH

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2000


A 2-year-old Hudson boy who was scalded by boiling water on Monday is in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital with burns over more than half of his body.

The family of Jason Alan Thomas celebrated Easter a day late by boiling a pot of eggs to decorate, said Pasco County sheriff's officials. The officials said Jason accidentally pulled the pot of water off the stove just as his mother's housemate turned toward the refrigerator.

The boy was first taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and then flown to Tampa General Hospital. There, family members and doctors decided that he should be treated at the Cincinnati Shriners Hospital in Ohio. On Tuesday night, an acute-care burn team from the hospital loaded Jason into a Lear jet ambulance and flew him to the hospital, which provides free medical care and rehabilitation for young burn patients.

Shriners Hospital spokeswoman Louise Hoelker said Jason's burns cover 52 percent of his body, including his hands, face, chest and legs.

Doctors will monitor Jason throughout the weekend and will decide next week whether to perform skin-graft operations. Jason's mother, Terra Lynn Thomas, is at the hospital with him. The Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati has 30 beds for young burn patients, said Hoelker. Many of the toddler patients were burned by boiling water or oil, she said.

Parents need to establish a safety zone in the kitchen for their children, and they should not boil water on front burners, said Hoelker.

"Scalding can happen in an instant," she said.

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