A 7-month-old infant was seriously burned inside an Ohio pancake restaurant after a hostess carrying two pots of hot coffee reportedly bumped into a customer and spilled the coffee on the baby’s legs.
Medics responded to three emergency calls from the Golden Nugget Pancake House in Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, April 6. Witnesses in the restaurant told authorities that the restaurant worker spilled the coffee when she collided with a customer and a child getting up from a booth. Another witness reported that the worker bumped into the booth itself.
The baby scalded by the hot coffee was apparently buckled into a car seat that was resting on the booth. People inside the restaurant at the time said the baby was screaming in pain.
According to the Dayton Daily News, customers nearby rushed to help the baby’s mother and another woman with them at the time. One customer, a nurse, called for cold water to pour on the baby’s legs. A witness told the Dayton Daily News that the baby was removed from the car seat but that its clothes had been melted onto the baby’s legs by the scalding hot coffee. The witness said that skin was coming off the burned areas of the child’s legs.
The baby was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital for treatment, but the condition of the child and the severity of the burn injuries were not reported.
The restaurant manager confirmed to the Dayton Daily News that the accident happened when the hostess carrying coffee and she and a customer bumped into each other.
Although the incident could be written off as a tragic accident, much the way the Stella Liebeck’s 1994 “hot coffee” personal injury case against McDonald’s was in the court of popular opinion, a review of the accident would likely uncover safety measures the restaurant could take to prevent similar accidents from happening again.
One preventative measure, for instance, could be as simple as sealing coffee pots when they are carried to and from tables or using coffee pots fitted with spill-proof safety lids. Other measures could include lowering the temperature of the coffee served and requiring employees to carry coffee pots in a way that makes them less likely to be accidentally dropped or tipped over.