The parents of 23-month-old Mila Jimenez are suing their condo association after they say their daughter sustained second-degree burns after touching the metal cover of the pool in condominium complex where they live.
"This little girl walked over to it, it wasn’t protected or guarded, there were no warning signs and she stepped on it causing second degree burns on both the bottom sides of her feet and then she fell forward and, thankfully she didn't hit her face, but she stopped herself with her hands and has second degree burns on both her hands,” said the family’s attorney Spencer Aronfeld.
The family showed NBC 6 photographs on Tuesday of the burns. They claim the child got the burns at the Marlborough House apartment pool on 57th Street and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach. The injuries were so devastating that she was given powerful painkillers and is having to undergo extensive treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the family said.
The condo association said no one was available for comment.
“She doesn't sleep well right now, she wakes up many times during the night," said her mother Ina Schadd. She added that the child keeps saying the word "hot" in Russian.
The family claims the little girl is traumatized, and they want the association to fix the cover for the other children that live in the complex. The girl said the word “hot” in Russian when she saw the metal cover.
“Just sign 'Be careful' or something for the children because a lot of children live in this building and they are all in the pool area without shoes,” Schadd said.
Their attorney says this should also serve as a warning to parents that drowning is not the only poolside danger.
According to the Consumer Product Safety commission, children under 2 are most likely to get burned by a hot deck because their skin is more susceptible to burning because it is thinner and more delicate and because they have not yet learned to react by removing themselves from the hot surface.
“We would like to use this opportunity as a warning to all condo associations, apartment buildings, anyone who has a swimming pool that's utilized by the public to make sure that the coverings, whether they are for drains or for pumps, are not metal,” Aronfeld said.
Aronfeld said the covering was once wooden and was changed to metal.