A YOUNG girl suffered “horrendous burns” after picking up burning coals on a beach after mistaking them for stones.

It happened on the seafront in Chalkwell and the girl’s family quickly rushed her into the Saltwater Beach Cafe and quick-thinking staff helped.

The family then rushed the girl to hospital where she had to have morphine as the pain was so bad.

The girl’s family then visited the cafe to thank its kind staff for their help.

Cafe owner Liz Carr, 44, said: “A customer dropped some chocolates into the cafe to say thank you to our staff for helping her niece last week who suffered horrendous burns on her hands because a member of the public left burning hot coals on the sea wall and she picked them up thinking they were stones.

“This poor young girl was bought into the cafe for immediate attention but then rushed to A&E.

“Various pain relief was administered, but she then had to have morphine as the pain was so intense.

“She has been back to the hospital and fortunately no lasting damage has been caused to her hands, but nevertheless a very traumatic incident for all concerned, she is however missing her swimming party as she can’t get her hands wet.

“We would like to wish her a happy birthday from all of us and next time you are in the cafe pop in for a birthday ice cream on us.

“A note to the public, please think about what you are doing in particular when young children are around.”

The cafe owner said she knows the family very well and they are private.

She said her staff quickly got put the child’s hand under cold water to help the burns.

She said they also gave the family a glass of ice for the girl to put her hand into while they took her to hospital.

Ms Carr said: “I am very proud of my staff and they knew exactly what to do when the family came into the cafe.

“It’s just about keeping an eye out for one another in our community.”

An Essex Fire Service spokesman said: “While the end of summer may be almost upon us, it’s still just as important as ever to use your barbecue safely.

“If you’re using a disposable barbecue in a public place, you should stay with it all times while it is alight until it has fully cooled.

“It’s also incredibly dangerous to try to move it during use or just after you’ve used it – be mindful that the coals are likely to remain hot for some time.”