THE mother of boy "engulfed in flames" while playing with a petrol-driven toy car has warned youngsters not to play with petrol.

Helen Cawley said her son Dillon, nine, who suffered 30 per cent burns to his stomach, a leg and hands, has learned the hard way.

But she said it was older boys who were playing with the car and who lit the petrol with a lighter in Crossland Street, off Corporation Street, Accrington, on Tuesday night.

On the day of the accident, Helen, of Corporation Street, had come home from hospital after giving birth to her eighth child.

She said: "Dillon sneaked out when someone came round to see me and the baby.

I had told him not to play with the older boys. One of them put the petrol in, lit it and kicked the car towards Dillon and it caught his clothes.

"Some of the other boys threw him on the ground and pulled the burning clothes off him -- it could have been much worse if they hadn't done that."

Helen, who has been at her son's side since the accident, along with Dillon's dad Martin, who lives in Rochdale, said Dillon may be in the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital for some time.

The Hyndburn Park School pupil was due to undergo skin graft surgery today and will have to keep going back to the hospital for treatment until he is a teenager.

His mother added: "He is such a happy child and a strong character that he will get through it. He will be all right."