Daycare injury incident shocking

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Editorial

One of the hardest things about being a parent is that first day you head back to work after your maternity leave stint, handing over your precious bundle to someone else to look after.

For all your baby's life up until that point, you have been the one to look after them, making sure they are safe with every move they make. Suddenly you have to trust someone else will take just as much care.

The parents of an Auckland toddler are going through a parent's worst nightmare after their little boy fell heavily from a wooden bridge and hit his head on his first day of daycare.

Accidents happen but, shockingly in this case, the parents weren't told of the fall.

It wasn't until 24 hours later that the parents of Jaden Young noticed swelling on the 13-month-old's head. They sought medical help and scans revealed he had a 6cm skull fracture and bleeding on the brain.

An investigation is now under way but, surprisingly, the carer who failed to report the incident is still working at the daycare centre involved, Unitec Early Learning Centre in Mt Albert.

The toddler's father, Curtis Young, is reported as saying there had been a "catastrophic failure" by the caregiver to meet her professional responsibilities and they were meeting lawyers this week to pursue civil litigation.

He said the 24-hour delay in getting medical attention for Jaden could have been fatal.

The parents have noticed Jaden's balance has been affected since the head blow. However, they won't know whether he has any lasting effects for some time because there is no concussion test for toddlers.

In a letter to the parents, the centre's manager apologised.

ACC figures show more than 1000 children aged up to 4 are hurt in accidents at early education centres every year. There were 1035 claims in 2010, 1189 in 2011 and 1328 in 2012.

Even more concerning is the body that represents early learning centres, the Early Childhood Council, says many caregivers are confused about what they should report because they face a bewildering array of legislation to comply with.

Chief executive Peter Reynolds said it was a highly regulated environment that could lead to misinterpretation of the rules and people not understanding what was required.

What rubbish. If a child falls heavily on his head, the parents should be told.

Such horror stories spoil it for the industry, making parents even more paranoid about going back to work.APN News and Media

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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