Parents thankful for support after toddler severely burned in ki - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Parents thankful for support after toddler severely burned in kitchen accident

Harlee Falkner Harlee Falkner
Harlee Falkner (Provided) Harlee Falkner (Provided)
OSGOOD, IN (FOX19) -

The parents of a Ripley County toddler who was severely burned in a kitchen accident are sharing their story in case it could protect another child from a similar fate.

Harlee Falkner, who is 16-months-old, is currently at home recovering in the care of her parents, Matthew and Megan Falkner.

Osgood fire officials said that Matthew was in the kitchen cooking on September 21 when grease on the stove caught fire. Knowing his five children were inside the home, Matthew started running towards a door with the fiery pan in his hand.

Fire crews said he tripped, either over Harlee or over a rug, and the hot grease splashed onto Harlee.

"At first I was in shock. I didn't know what to think or what was going on," Megan said. "You never think it's going to happen to you, and then, it does."

First responders rushed to the Osgood home and airlifted Harlee to a hospital in Indianapolis. The hot grease had scorched her head, back, neck and shoulder.

A day later, Harlee was moved to a hospital in Cincinnati where she spent days starting to improve. She handled two surgeries in two days time: one to remove the burn damage, the other a skin graft.

Medical professionals said they don't expect the hair on one side of Harlee's scalp will grow back, which means she'll have another procedure when she's eight-years-old.

For now, Harlee is at home with her parents who change her dressing twice a day. She will soon start wearing a bodysuit that she will have to use for about a year.

"You wake up going to work thinking you can come home to the same routine every day, and sometimes it's just not going to be the same," Megan said.

Despite the bandages and the pain, Harlee is full of smiles and energy.

As an extra precaution, the Falkners are using a gate to keep the children out of the kitchen when they are preparing meals.

They said that they are incredibly thankful for the never-ending support, thoughts and prayers and hope their story helps other families form a plan for the unpredictable.

"It was not easy," Megan said. "I wouldn't want any parent to go through it."

The family does have a GoFundMe page and a donation account set up through United Community Bank.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so through the online fundraiser or by going to a United Community Bank location and using the name Megan Falkner. They said the money raised will go towards medical bills and the extra costs that come with being off work for an extended period of time.

The Osgood fire chief provided some safety tips for anyone who has a grease fire:

  • You can use baking soda to put the grease fire out.
  • Call the fire department right away.
  • Do not use water. Water will make the flames grow, and the grease could splash off the stove.

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