Corey Duffield's parents took him to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro following after a pan of boiling water fell on him at home in Newquay.
His parents said the hospital told them to take him to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.
However, the hospital said Corey was not showing 'signs of undue pain or distress'.
It added that if the 22-month-old boy's parents had raised any concerns about the difficulty of getting to Bristol 'we would have organised transport for them'.
Corey's mother, Donna Thomas, said: "We got to hospital and they checked him out, called the hospital in Bristol and we were basically told to find our own way.
"We assumed we would have been offered an ambulance."
Corey's grandmother drove them to Frenchay Hospital.
Donna said: "We had to put the seat straps over his shoulder which had been burnt, it was a really stressful journey.
"Anything could have happened on that journey - he could have taken a bad turn."
The family said they reached Frenchay Hospital eight hours after the boiling pan fell on the child.
The Royal Cornwall Hospital said: "We are very sorry that Corey's parents are unhappy about their son's treatment and the arrangement for him to transfer to the burns unit in Bristol.
"Corey's condition was fully assessed by the emergency department doctor.
"In line with the protocols agreed with the team at Frenchay Hospital, it was considered appropriate for him to travel by car."