A horrified mum has issued a warning to others after her 10-year-old daughter sliced her foot open while paddling in the sea.
Michelle Hargreaves, from Fleetwood, said there was “no excuse” for littering after a discarded barbecue left her daughter needing surgery.
Charles Saer Primary School pupil Emmalee McCormick was playing with friends on Fleetwood beach, close to the YMCA, when she felt a scratch on her foot.
When she looked down she saw blood pouring from the wound after the metal casing of the disposable barbecue made a deep slice from her heel to the top of her foot.
Michelle, of Hesketh Place, today spoke of her shock after discovering her daughter had been rushed to hospital and placed on a drip that pumped her full of antibiotics.
She said: “The water was just over her ankles and she felt a scratch – when she took her foot out of the water it was just blood.
It was like something from a television showMichelle Hargreaves
“I couldn’t believe it when the doctor showed me – it was like something from a television show.
“It turns my stomach just to think of it.”
The youngster has had to take time off school since the accident on Thursday evening, amid fears the cut could reopen if the stitches come out, and can only walk with the help of crutches.
Mum-of-three Michelle said she hopes to warn other parents of the dangers of the sea, which almost claimed the life of her son four years ago.
Jake McLaughlin was just 11 when he began struggling to stay afloat while playing in the sea in July 2011. He had to be rescued by a passer-by and his friend.
And after the horror of almost losing her son that day, Michelle said she was terrified when she got the phone call to say Emmalee was on her way to hospital.
She said:“It was a throw-away barbecue that must have been left on the beach.
“You would expect it from a shard of glass or something but who would think a barbecue would have done something like that?
“There was grease around the cut and you could still smell the lighter fluid.
“She could have got gangrene or anything.
“The guy in A&E was trying to wash the cut out and there was stones coming out of it – she had to have an operation to clean it.
“The surgeon said it was quite a deep cut and there was a lot of rubbish that came out of it.
“For a full 24 hours she was on intravenous antibiotics.”
She praised a man and woman who were walking along the beach at the time of the incident and came to her daughter’s aid.
They took her to the nearby Fleetwood YMCA where two members of staff looked after Emmalee.
“I can’t thank them enough,” Michelle added.
She said she hopes her daughter’s injury will also serve as a warning to people using the beach to clean up afterwards.
“There are bins right along the beach,” she added.
“There’s no excuse for someone just to leave a barbecue.”
A spokesman for Wyre Council, which looks after the beach, said: “We can all do our bit to keep beaches and bathing waters clean by putting litter in the bin.
“As sadly demonstrated in this case, food waste such as broken bottles, cans and other containers can be dangerous for children and wildlife so please take them with you off the beach and recycle them at home.”