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Toddler’s beach trip turns to terror after foot slashed by broken glass

Maverick Barker at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. (Photograph supplied)

A mother whose toddler son’s foot was gashed by broken glass at a beach appealed yesterday for people to be more careful with bottles.

Rebecca Barker said a pleasant day out turned to shock after her son crawled from Somerset Long Bay the beach towards a grassy area.

Ms Barker said: “I saw his foot slip down into the sand and he just screamed.

“I picked him up quickly and I saw there was blood on his foot, but I didn’t realise how bad it was until I took him to the water to wash it and realised I could see the fat underneath the skin.

“I left all my things there and rushed him to the hospital. He got three stitches. It was a horrible experience.”

Ms Barker added: “People need to clean up after themselves. When you leave a bottle on the beach, it’s not going to turn into sea glass tomorrow.

“It’s irresponsible. It’s just so awful. Here was an 18-month-old boy who was having a great time rushed to hospital because of something careless that someone did.”

Ms Barker said the incident happened after she took her children, including 18-month-old son Maverick, to Somerset Long Bay on Monday morning to play.

She said: “We live in Warwick and usually walk around Riddell’s Bay or South Shore, but I thought we should do something different.

“They have a playground up there and the beach is always so beautiful and it was a gorgeous day.

“We were playing at the playground and we made our way over to the beach. We had the beach toys out and we were having a grand old time.”

Ms Barker said that she noticed some glass on the beach – most of which had been worn smooth – but she picked it up when she saw it.

Ms Barker said Maverick was on the road to recovery, but the incident highlighted the need for people to be more careful about how they disposed of glass.

She added that after she left the area a friend discovered even more broken glass in the sand.

Ms Barker said it was not uncommon to find sea glass on beaches.

But she added her son’s doctor told her the glass that cut her son must have been “razor sharp” because of how deep and clean the cut was.

She also asked members of the public to pick up glass when they saw it to help protect others.

Ms Barker said: “You can’t rely on the parks department to clean up after people, especially now when they are strapped for funds.

“It takes a community effort, and I know there is KBB and other groups telling people to pick up their garbage, but we need to find ways to reach people who just don’t think that way.”

Buy Back Bermuda – a joint venture of the Bermuda National Trust and Bermuda Audubon Society – joined Mrs Barker to ask people to be careful how they dispose of broken glass.

But the group highlighted it was possible the glass came from the nearby Somerset Long Bay East Nature Reserve, which is owned by Buy Back Bermuda.

A spokeswoman said: “The pond on the nature reserve was restored from an original pond that had been filled in with garbage.

“The glass from the old dump site remains buried deep in the soil on the nature reserve and has sometimes been washed out onto the beach during storm surges.”

The spokeswoman said the group had volunteers who collected glass on a regular basis and has organised clean-ups in the area.

She added: “We are also working on a long-term solution that involves regrading the slope behind the beach and planting it with strong-rooted salt-resistant plants that will hold the substrate in place.

“An application is currently with the Department of Planning for approval of these works, which we hope to be able to carry out within the next few months.”

The spokeswoman said: “We are most grateful to the Centennial Foundation, which has adopted the Somerset Long Bay East Nature Reserve and will fund the glass remediation project.

“We know that this area of public park, bordered by two nature reserves, is special to Somerset residents and we have also encouraged the parks department to work with us to care for the area.”

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Published January 06, 2022 at 9:11 am (Updated January 06, 2022 at 10:19 am)

Toddler’s beach trip turns to terror after foot slashed by broken glass

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