A Fife mum has hit out after her three-year-old son was burned by a creosote treated telephone pole after accidentally brushing against it.
Sarah Watt noticed a rash near little Adam’s armpit after he collided with the wooden pillar outside their home in Navitie Park in Ballingry.
The 31-year-old said the “red, red mark” began to blister around 12 hours after he first made contact with the chemical preservative.
The telephone pole has now been removed and replaced with a steel structure.
Telecoms company Openreach apologised and said the creosote had “bled” out of the wood, due the extremely hot weather.
Mother-of-five Sarah said: “Adam was out on his bike and this pole sits about one or two inches from the footpath.
“He bumped into it and the creosote which was on the post was on the front part of his shoulder and arm.
“It was really difficult to wash off and it left a really, really red mark. I put some cream of it thinking nothing else of it but then it started to blister.
“There’s still a red, irritated rash there now. The doctor told me to keep applying cream but if it doesn’t go away, I’ve to take him in.”
Ms Watt said she contacted Openreach to alert it to the incident but engineers were not sent out until The Courier approached the company.
The creosote pole was covered up with plastic sheeting, before another team of workers arrived to remove it entirely.
Ms Watt added: “I’m glad that they’ve replaced the pole. They should have never used one with such a toxic chemical on it.
“It should have been a steel one right from the start but they obviously cost more.
“It shouldn’t have taken a child being hurt for them to have realised how dangerous it was.
“The engineers told me it was creosote on the post. It began leaking out in the hot weather and had gathered in a pool at the bottom.
“They said it’s illegal to use it in a play park or in schools but not next to a public footpath where there’s over 20 kids living nearby.
“I’ve not even had an apology from them. I just hope that they will think again about putting these coated poles in elsewhere where another child could be injured.”
An Openreach spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry to hear about what happened and we attended the site as soon as we were made aware.
“All of our wooden poles are seasoned and treated as part of the manufacturing process to keep the probability of creosote ‘bleeding’ to a minimum, however a small percentage of poles can still ‘bleed’ – especially in hot weather.
“We’re now in the process of replacing this wooden pole with a hollow steel one.”
Pictures showing Adam’s injuries were taken 10 days after the incident took place.