A one-year old boy was left with a potentially fatal bacterial infection after his hand got sucked into a Shark vacuum cleaner.
Mum Louise Chester turned her back for just a second when her son, Henri Chaudry, managed to knock the cleaner over and switch it on in the process.
The powerful suction sucked up his hand and left the 20 month old with painful friction burns on two fingers, and his left palm.
After being treated for burns in hospital, Henri was brought back home but over the next few days he developed a high temperature, diarrhoea and a full-body rash.
He was diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome on his return to hospital, a rare life-threatening complication of some bacterial infections which can sometimes kill within hours.
Henri recovered after a five-day stay at his local hospital's childrens' ward, but was left with scarring.
Louise, a mum-of-four from Warwickshire, spoke out to warn other parents:
The 45-year-old said: "I couldn’t stop crying for days after; the pain he must have been in from this burn, it was heartbreaking.
"The vacuum was upright and switched off but he managed to kick it over and turn it on when my back was turned for a second.
“The next thing I’m hearing him screaming; the suction of it had sucked his hand up.
“It was literally in there five seconds but when I pulled him out he had burnt all his hand.
"It covered two of his fingers and about halfway down the palm of his hand.
“He was screaming and shaking and his sister was crying her eyes out too. It was just horrible."
The accident happened on October 11, when Louise turned around to unplug the vacuum cleaner.
She promptly rang for an ambulance, and was told a paramedic would call her back but after 15 minutes of her child screaming, she drove him to the hospital.
The burned hand was treated, and the next day she was taken to Birmingham Children's Hospital to be treated with a specialist silver dressing.
But then his condition worsened over the next few days after returning home.
"I heard him vomiting in his cot and when I checked on him he was very hot but I just gave him some Calpol as I didn’t really think anything of it," she said.
“I popped out with him later on but I could tell he was getting worse as he wasn’t drinking or eating the snacks I took with me.
“I took him home and laid him on the settee because he was very lethargic, and then wouldn’t eat his dinner when he was offered.
“I took his temperature and saw he was at 39°C so stripped him off and rang the children’s hospital and they advised me to give him Nurofen and to ring back within half an hour.
“This was when he started coming up in a rash and contracted diarrhoea so I rang the ambulance that came within five minutes.
“Because of the symptoms and his hand injury they knew immediately it was an infection of some sort."
Henri was taken to Walsgrave Hospital, in Coventry, where he was diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome.
He was given intravenous antibiotics and fluids and taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for plasma treatment from a plastic surgeon.
The infection is more commonly associated with tampon use, but it can also be caught from burns, cuts or insect bites.
“We didn’t know how the skin on his hand was going to go or whether it would even grow back straight," she said.
"The skin could have grown back too tight or loose and affect his grip.
"He ended up being in hospital for five days as he was quite poorly - it was horrific for him and heart-breaking for me to see.
“He has still got some scarring now but fortunately it has healed well.”
The vacuum cleaner which caused the burns cost Louise £199, the Shark DuoClean Lift-Away vacuum cleaner, which she bought less than two years ago from their website directly.
She wants to share her experience so that more children don't hurt themselves like Henri did.
She said: "I think it's a badly made product because that switch is so easy for any kid to turn on and there should be a safeguard at the bottom so they cant put their hand in.
"It also has a dangerous metal roller brush inside it and there is no safeguard for kids around that either.
"This model has a cord and a start button that can be pressed easily, but I also have the cordless newer version with a 'push and slide' button making it harder for a child to turn on - that should be on all their hoovers.
“I’ve read about the same thing happening with the same brand of vacuum and want to spread awareness about how dangerous it is for children.
"They could look at putting safer switches on - Henri likes the sound of the vacuum and I'm sure he's not the only one."
A Shark Ninja spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear about this accident and wish our customer’s son a full recovery.
"As with all brands, fast-moving parts under the vacuum cleaner can cause injury if they come in contact with human skin rather than the floor and we clearly advise in our safety instructions that the appliance is kept out of children’s reach at all times when plugged in."