Pictures of two Oklahoma boys with second- and third-degree burns have started to make national headlines after they spent hours at a water park without sun protection, according to their mother.
Shaunna Broadway was horrified to find out her fair-skinned sons, ages 5 and 7, were left without sun protection during a day care trip to a nearby water park.
Broadway said that daycare workers said that they didn’t have sunscreen for the boys and the young boys did not keep their shirts on at the park. The boys ended up in the hospital with second- and third-degree burns and were eventually airlifted to a Texas hospital for further treatment.
A video released by Broadway shows the boys screaming in pain as they receive treatment. She told ABC News she was heartbroken to see her sons injured after they spent hours in triple-digit temperatures.
“It’s been really hard to see them go through this,” she said.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services confirmed to ABC News that the daycare center has ceased operations.
Experts say this case clearly shows how dangerous a simple trip outdoors can be for those without sun protection.
Dr. Barney Kenet, a New York-based dermatologist, said the boys were likely susceptible to severe sun damage because they appear to have very fair skin.
“Those boys are very fair and [one has] red hair, they are as fair as they can be,” said Kenet. “In high-sun community and so you can get a burn … in 15 minutes when you’re this fair.”
He guessed spending an hour or more in the sun with no protection could lead to the severe burns seen on the boys in the pictures released by Broadway.
He said while the burns look severe in the pictures, the boys will likely not suffer permanent damage.
“The future however is good,” said Kenet. “Both boys will heal up quite well ... it’s highly unlikely they will have scarring.”
He did warn that the boys could be at high risk for health complications in the future as a result of the severe burn.
“Unfortunately severe burns in childhood in this natures are an independent risk factor for skin cancer later in life,” explained Kenet.
Kenet said it’s key to apply broad spectrum sun block every two to three hours when in the sun and to try and avoid being outdoors during peak hours. He said if rambunctious kids refuse to stay indoors parents can double up on sun block and long sleeve rash guards to give protection to vulnerable children.
“They have pristine, very fair and unclimatized skin,” Kenet said of the two boys. “Baby skin, it’s very fair. They have no tan and no protection.“