San Antonio family shares story after 11-year-old is seriously burned during school lunch

National Burn Awareness Week takes place Feb. 4 to Feb. 10

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio family is sharing their story amid National Burn Awareness Week and warning parents after their son was seriously burned during school lunch.

Last year, a cup of soup accidentally spilled on 11-year-old Rex Rohde’s foot.

“(It) didn’t hurt much. Just a little sting on the foot,” Rex said.

But that sting would become a big problem.

“It wasn’t boiling hot or even warm to the touch of his skin. So he kind of just looked at his foot, took a sock and shoe off. It just felt wet and he put it back on,” Rex’s mother Staci Rohde said.

The liquid caused Rex severe burns and he had to undergo several surgeries at the University Health level one pediatric trauma and burn center.

“We had to have a first surgery for a surgical debridement to kind of clean up the burn. That was, kind of Week 1. The week after that, we had another surgery where he received a cadaver graft, which basically prepped his body for receiving his donor graft. The week after that is when they then went in and did a third surgery where they actually took skin from his thigh and gave him his own skin graft to his foot,” Rodhe said.

Last year, a cup of soup accidentally spilled on 11-year-old Rex Rohde’s foot. (Photo Courtesy: Staci Rohde)

Rex is feeling better, but wears a compression sock and they monitor his foot.

Dr. Christopher Crane, a trauma surgeon, said unfortunately he sees burns like that often.

“Something that’s very, very hot, it can only be in touch with the skin for a brief second and can cause a deep, deep burn, whereas something that’s you know not quite as hot and it sits and sits on the skin in contact for a prolonged period of time will cause the same burn, just takes longer for it to develop,” Crane said.

Crane said if you or your child get burned, remove any clothing in the affected area to expose it. Run it under cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to remove any kind of grease, oils or food particles from the affected area to prevent further burning.

Crane said there are steps you can take to prevent burns, including using extreme caution when cooking or using a microwave.

“Set your water heater to 120 degrees. So it doesn’t get too hot when you turn the faucet on or somebody actually turns a faucet on. When you’re cooking, at the oven or stove, using the back burners and keeping the handles pointed away from the front,” Crane said.

National Burn Awareness Week is Feb. 4-Feb. 10.

About the Author

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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