Witnesses: Girl, 1, burned by coffee, flown to hospital

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 1-year-old girl was flown to the burn unit at UF Health Gainesville on Monday morning after being badly burned by a cup of hot coffee, according to witnesses at the scene.

Jolene Carlton said she was driving north on Roosevelt Boulevard on the Westside when she saw a car in distress with its flashers on.

She rolled down her window and asked what was going on, and the family in the other car said a baby, identified as Sarina Meyers, was burned at home and they were trying to take her to the hospital.

Carlton called 911 and told them to pull over into a parking lot. They stopped at 84 Lumber Company, near Collins Road, and rescuers arrived.

They called for a helicopter, which took the child to the burn unit.

Police said the burns appeared accidental and were not life-threatening.

Witnesses said the girl had burns to the face, neck and chest that were severe.

"They looked bad. They looked really bad," Carlton said. "They were blistered and she was bleeding some."

Carlton helped out until firefighters got there.

She said the girl's grandmother told her the girl pulled coffee off the counter and it spilled on her. Police said the girl's grandmother turned to the opposite counter to get the girl Pop-Tarts, which she dropped on the floor. When the grandmother turned to get another one, she heard the girl scream behind her because she was burned, police said.

Cynthia Dennis, a nurse with Safe Kids Northeast Florida, an organization that works to prevent accidental injuries, said it's important to childproof your kitchen and keep dangerous things out of the reach of children.

"The nature of young children, of course, is they are very curious and they are very mobile," Dennis said.