A mum has been praised for her quick actions getting her toddler into a shower after he was doused in boiling hot coffee on Christmas day.

The woman, who does not want to be identified, kept her 17-month-old boy in the shower for 20 minutes until paramedics arrived at their home at Alfredton, north of Masterton, to fly him to hospital.

"I'm a nurse so I knew exactly what to do and I knew it was extremely serious because it was boiling hot water, no milk. He just needed to go under water instantly. That's what I did, I just grabbed him and ran."

The mum had been making cups of tea and coffee when she was distracted by another child who was trying to get into a Christmas present.

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It took only a moment for her son to appear while her back was turned.

"He just came from nowhere. He just reached up and grabbed."

The toddler suffered burns to his face, head, and chest, but he is expected to make a full recovery with no scarring.

The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was sent to the scene about 10.30am yesterday, and flew the child to hospital.

He suffered second-degree burns, but a rescue helicopter spokesperson said the mum's quick thinking reduced the seriousness of the burns.

"It was probably more traumatising for me. I know what burns can do to little kids," the mum said.

"I don't know if anybody else realised the seriousness of it."

The mum wanted to extend her thanks to the team who came to her child's rescue.

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"They were just extremely friendly and yeah, very caring. They put me at ease, which is fantastic."

The chopper crew was later sent to Mangaweka at 6pm after a 53-year-old woman injured her ribs falling from a bike.

She was treated and taken to Palmerston North Hospital.

The previous day, the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter went to a two-car crash about 2km from the Otoko Marae on SH4 in the Paraparas.

An 18-year-old female passenger with a possible head injury and lower back injury was flown to Whanganui Hospital.

Five other people were taken by ambulance to Whanganui Hospital.