The parents of a toddler who nearly severed two fingers with a steak knife at a homebased daycare are dismayed that no further action has been taken by authorities.
Brodie Henderson had just turned one and was enjoying his first steps when he grabbed a serrated steak knife from a dishwasher at the caregiver's house in Rolleston outside Christchurch.
When his horrified carer saw him with the knife on April 13 last year, she gently urged him to put it down, saying "Ta, Brodie".
But instead, the youngster tripped and fell on the blade, nearly "de-gloving" two fingers.
The carer used paper towels to stem the massive bloodflow before phoning Brodie's mother, Reshma.
In tears, the carer told Reshma to come and get Brodie straight away because he had "hurt himself badly".
Reshma hung up without speaking and rushed to the daycare.
When she arrived, she found Brodie crying and "blood everywhere".
"There were bloody tissues on the floor and three other kids on the couch, crying, watching everything," Reshma said.
"I took my child from [the carer] straight away. She tried to explain but I didn't want to hear anything. I just wanted to calm my child down."
An ambulance soon arrived and rushed them to Christchurch Hospital.
The knife had sliced through 50 per cent of the skin on the small child's small finger and ring finger on his right hand.
Damaged ligaments and nerves required surgery and he was operated on under general anaesthetic the next day.
Reshma and husband Jarrod told Herald on Sunday that a severed nerve cannot be reattached.
Brodie might never be able to feel anything in the fingertip, they say. He can't bend them at the top join.
"No-one can tell us the full long-term effects until he can tell us himself," Jarrod said.
Now, the Hendersons are asking why no sanctions were imposed on Kiddz 2000 Ltd and why the carer was not stood down while investigations are underway.
They are also critical of WorkSafe and the Ministry of Education for their "weak" responses.
WorkSafe says the injury did not meet the threshold of a notifiable injury as defined by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and therefore, no probe was launched.
"If he'd tripped and the blade had gone through his chest, would WorkSafe have investigated then? At the end of the day, a kid at daycare has got hold of a knife and been severely injured," Jarrod said.
Police investigated and spoke to all parties but did not pursue charges after concluding "insufficient evidence to pursue the matter further".
The Hendersons also say they've been told differing stories about what happened that day – and just how the toddler was able to get his hands on the knife. They are dismayed that there was no gate blocking entry to the kitchen or child-proof locks on the dishwasher.
As a result of the incident, the Education Ministry says in correspondence with the Hendersons, that the company has "reviewed their processes around daily safety checking and dishwasher safety" and strengthened its supervision processes after finding they needed further development.
The Ministry monitored Kiddz for several months to ensure they met its requirements.
"We are satisfied that they have done so," Ministry of Education deputy secretary of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey told the Herald on Sunday.
Kiddz "treated this accident extremely seriously", Casey said, and immediately "took steps to reduce the risk of this type of accident from happening again".
"I appreciate that this must have been an incredibly distressing accident for this child and his family. I also recognise that the parents want to ensure that other children are protected from this type of accident," she said.
Kiddz director Evan Kidd responded to questions about the incident with a statement which said: "Homebased childcare licencing criteria differs from centre based licencing criteria. We are, and have always been, committed to meeting the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 (Homebased), and have strong systems in place to ensure this."
The Hendersons have been left traumatised by the knife incident, with Reshma requiring counselling.
"I have panic attacks when the phone rings, thinking something has happened to Brodie," she says.
"All day I have this insecurity. Even at the weekends, I text Jarrod, 'Is he OK?'
"It's a really bad memory and I don't know what to do to get rid of it. I know it'll probably be there for life."