Fatal Scalds – Coroner on a Common Domestic Danger.

February 1931

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 13 February 1931

Fatal Scalds.

Coroner on a Common Domestic Danger.

“In this case there will be a verdict that the child died from shock following scalds.” ‘ said Mr. W. H. Carlile, who held an inquest at Conisboro’ an Friday on Harold Briggs, aged 14 months, son of George Briggs, 2 Glasshouse Row, Denaby, who died in the 1 Fullerton Hospital on Jan. 29th from scalds received on Jan. 26th.

Alice Jenny Briggs, mother, said that on the day of the accident she had only been out of bed four days. She was alone in the house with six children, the eldest of whom was eight years old. She had an enamel bowl on an armchair on the hearthrug, and Harold was playing on the rug close to the chair. He was about a foot away from the chair when she poured some boiling water into the bowl. When she turned to put the kettle back on the fire, she heard Harold scream and heard the bowl drop back on to the chair. She thought he must have crept up to the chair and upset the bowl. She covered him with flour and lime water and olive oil and sent for her husband.

The Coroner: It was a silly thing to put boiling water so near a child of that age.

Witness: I admit it.

In reply to further questions, witness said there was only about a pint of water in the bowl and about half of this went over the child.

Dr. Ford said he was called to the child at about 7-30 p.m. on Jan. 16th. He found it had been badly scalded on the face, abdomen, and shoulder. He took the child to the Fullerton Hospital, and it was treated there till its death on Jan 29th. It really had no chance from the start. The cause of death was shock following scalds.

George Briggs, father, said he went out about 7 p.m. When told of the accident he went straight home and then went for Dr. Ford. He was present when the child died.

The Coroner, in returning a verdict as stated said: “I always point out in these cases how dangerous it is to leave boiling water within reach of children of this age. Too much notice cannot be taken of it.”