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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Terrible Accident
Unregistered 03:04 AM 11-29-2017
Hello all,

I had an infant teacher with 5 babies to herself in her classroom: one 9 month old and four 1+ year olds--the ratio is 1:5 for that group size. It was time for diaper changing, so she had four children secured in buckle chairs at a table with toys while she changed the fifth child. She was constantly supervising the four at the table (we had video footage and she was clearly watching them consistently) one of the children slowly scooted her chair back and back until she approached a tall shelf that had a bottle warmer on top and she pulled the cord and knocked it over, and some of the hot water splashed on her arm. She was immediately provided first aid, parents were called, and we called 911 to be safe. We allowed the mother to view the video footage and she was fine---although her sister was adding fuel to the fire and screaming that the child was left alone, which wasn't the case. They went with her to the emergency room in the ambulance.

We followed all of the procedures, incident report, call to Licensing, etc. Bottle warmer was removed permanently from the classroom and the teacher received disciplinary action for not having the cord behind the shelf as it was supposed to be.

This evening I saw that the mom, who was understanding at the time of the incident, had posted on social media that we allowed scalding water on her daughter and that no one was watching her and just went on about how terrible we were, making the situation seem, while a terrible situation, much worse than what it was, and even ended her post with a racial comment. She managed to get a hundred comments and shares from her friends that just said the most horrible things, some that I recognized saying things that were just not true. The mom was someone that we had repeatedly worked with for months. She was struggling financially and we didn't make her pay her co-pays, worked tremendously hard with her older son. She consistently picked her children up late and we wouldn't charge her the late fees because of her situation. I know it's a terrible thing that happened, but I feel like it was handled in the best possible manner and I'm extremely hurt and offended that she would slander my center like that.

I have NEVER had an incident like this happen--EVER.

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? I'm feeling heartbroken and terribly defeated.
lovemykidstoo 05:08 AM 11-29-2017
I am so sorry this happened to you and the baby. It sounds like you did everything you could. Accidents happen. The baby I'm sure will be fine. You made appropriate changes so it doesn't happen again. I would seriously take pictures of everything that she wrote though. Wouldn't look good for her in court if it goes that far the comments she's making.
midaycare 05:31 AM 11-29-2017
I can tell you from personal experience there is no worse feeling than trusting your children with someone and having them come back hurt.

My DS went to a center and also got burned. There were some other issues - he attended for less than 2 weeks and did not return after the burn incident. In DS's situation, they went on a field trip to make hot dogs and he was unsupervised near a grill.

I was very, very angry. I told my story a lot. The family has a right to say what happened. It looks bad to say, "But we worked with her, she didn't pay, she was late, etc". Those are completely different issues and none of anyone's business.

I would just take full responsibility when asked anything and talk about your prevention steps and staff training to avoid future occurrences.
HappyEverAfter 05:31 AM 11-29-2017
This was an accident and I'm so glad you had video footage available to prove it was such. Accidents can happen at anytime, anywhere under the supervision of anyone. No one is immune to accidents. I hate that the mom is now responding with such negativity, regardless of what graces you all have provided her with. It is unfortunate and the best thing you guys can do is not feed into it. Don't even read the comments on her FB post. You've followed great protocol in handling and reporting the accident and all you should do now is move forward.

I had a 1yr old that was literally two feet away from me. She was the only child still here so she had my full attention. She got excited about a game we were playing, lost her balance and fell, hitting her face on the edge of my coffee table as she did. Busted her lip and left a huge bruise on her face. It was an accident. I was literally right there but wasn't fast enough to catch her fall. The parents were fine about it. The lip and bruise healed. Things happen, even in one on one scenarios. Tell this teacher to not worry. She did her best and it could've happened to anyone, anytime.
HappyEverAfter 05:36 AM 11-29-2017
Originally Posted by midaycare:
I can tell you from personal experience there is no worse feeling than trusting your children with someone and having them come back hurt.

My DS went to a center and also got burned. There were some other issues - he attended for less than 2 weeks and did not return after the burn incident. In DS's situation, they went on a field trip to make hot dogs and he was unsupervised near a grill.
That must've been absolutely horrible for you to go through with your son and I can only imagine it makes it that much harder to trust leaving your child with someone. I'm glad your son didn't have to return to that center because they definitely sound negligent in having let any child wander near a grill, supervised or not. So scary!
Cat Herder 05:36 AM 11-29-2017
It seems to be a common theme that the more you do for a family, the more exceptions you make for them, the worse they act out when something does not go their way.

The fact that the cord and scalding water was in reach of a child, at all, will work against you. There is no sugar coating that.

The mom acting out online is to be expected in this social media culture. As long as you don't play into it, it will fade quickly; drowned out by the rest of the noise online. Radio silence, consult your attorney ASAP.

I would prepare for medical bills and a possible civil settlement, though. The employee, herself, should as well. This could get pretty expensive. I wish I had better news. I hope this is over quickly for you.
Cat Herder 06:12 AM 11-29-2017
If you google "toddler scalded in daycare" you will get hundreds of hits and outcomes of cases where kids pulled down bottle warming water on themselves. Ex from Aug 2017:

For parents reading: The crock pot used to be a common way to quickly heat bottles in classrooms but is slowly being made illegal through regulations because of these re-occurring burns. Microwaves are nutritionally inappropriate for formula or breast milk so are rarely used for anything other than heating water which leads to the same standing scalding water issue.

It is being recommended here that bottles be heated by kitchen staff and delivered to the infant rooms or be prepared in an area of the classroom completely off limits to children. Having kitchen staff do it presents it's own special brand of issues (mix ups, timing, overheating ruining nutritional value, staffing conflicts, training, ect). The separate space plan brings on lowered ratios due to "usable space per child" regulations. Lowered ratios means higher tuition to cover costs. It is a very complicated issue when being dealt with in traditional daycare center design. It is something that will have to be dealt with as a profession over-all. Sadly, the profession can't help the individuals effected by this during the transition. It is a big problem for providers right now.
mommyneedsadayoff 06:18 AM 11-29-2017
First off, I'm so sorry you're going through this. We can work so hard at our business and one day everything can just seem to go to hell.

I would definitely consult with an attorney and I would also take screenshots of her Facebook post. You may not need it but just to keep it on file. It sounds like you covered your bases concerning the accident, which is great so, for now, I would just stay quiet and keep your ducks in a row. If anything comes of it and Mom decides to push it farther, a lawyer will be able to guide you best. Good luck to you and I hope you feel better.
Ariana 07:43 AM 11-29-2017
It is odd that she was checking on them yet one child scooted over to the bottle warmer unnoticed. Was the child just super fast?

Agree with the others, accidents happen all the time. Some people are quite forgiving but some try to make a mountain out of a molehill in order to seem like awesome parents that are victims of a bad tradgedy.
Daycare Insurance 09:49 AM 11-29-2017
Have you reported this to your insurance company? This is what they are here for. They will most likely pay for the child's medical bills, and, if the mom does decide to sue, they will protect you. It's always best to report these things as soon as they happen rather than waiting for a letter from an attorney. You will also want to take pictures of where the incident happened, where the bottle warmer was, etc. It's great that you have video footage. Be sure to keep that in case your insurance company and attorney want to see it. Best of luck.
daycarediva 10:40 AM 11-29-2017
I am so sorry this happened.

I agree though, contact your insurance company and wait.

ALMOST every regulation was followed- except the bottle warmer, and that's where the accident/negligence line gets pushed. The video footage is great to have on hand.

Has licensing responded to your injury report?
Mom2Two 12:00 PM 11-29-2017
I would talk to insurance and consider an attorney if she won't recant. I don't think you should have to put up with untrue things being written about you.

Take screen shots of her post and save them. Libel (written falsehoods that defame) is illegal. I think you should let her know that she needs to cease what she's doing and ask her to post a more accurate description of what happened. She's hurting your business.

And just get some hottish tap water in a container to set the bottle in to warm it up--no cords that way.
Haven 02:01 PM 11-29-2017
I had a similar incident happened to me this summer and am just opening back up from it. I would get ready for the parents to call CPS. Your licencing office may seem understanding now but once CPS gets involved it's a whole other story. They will likely try to indicate you as well as the staff member with neglect.
1)Get a lawyer NOW
2) Call your insurance provider
3) Keep all documentation
Be ready for the mother to add fuel to the fire. They will probably accuse you of always being neglectful to the child (such as stating the child had frequent diaper rash etc.).
This line of work is pretty unforgiving when it comes to children getting injured at daycare. The mother will most likely sue you even if you offered to pay for medical bills.
Don't take it personally. You could have done everything right for this family and taken better care of the child then they did, but because of this incident they will only remember that 'you hurt' their child. Its hard to swallow but it is true. That's why you should never do anyone any favors. Take it as a lesson learned.
There is really nothing you can do about the mom slandering you because her child did get injured. I would get ready for an emergency suspension action against you as well as CPS trying to indicate you.
Would you mind me asking to what degree the child was burned?
I'm sorry you are going through this!
Unregistered 03:50 PM 11-29-2017
Thank you all so much for your feedback. You've helped make me feel slightly less of a terrible person regarding this whole experience. I have not been able to eat or sleep!

Yes, my employee was definitely at fault for the bottle warmer. Licensing has not yet responded, I'm anxiously waiting.

At this point I'm not even worried about Licensing--I'm just worried about this crazy social media nonsense. I've stopped reading the comments and her responses as they were making me nauseous. To put the truth on Facebook is one thing. She's spouting more and more lies and is getting encouraged by her peers. The lies range from "the staff was out of ratio" to "the child wandered into the kitchen and had hot water poured on her" to "the daycare never told us what happened". Those aren't verbatim but my staff told me those were some of things being said (Like I said, I can no longer read them) Some of my staff members are helping me take screen shots of every libelous comment that is being made so that I have them at the ready.

The only thing I wanted to have to worry about throughout this entire incident was the health of the sweet little girl. Now I am too caught up with all of the defamation to be able to place my concern where it's truly deserved.
Ariana 07:19 PM 11-29-2017
This is just absolutely terrible. Is there any way you can make a public statement about the issue. How are other parents at the daycare responding?
Mike 07:28 PM 11-29-2017
Originally Posted by Ariana:
This is just absolutely terrible. Is there any way you can make a public statement about the issue. How are other parents at the daycare responding?
I think that's the main issue. If the other parents know the truth and are not listening to the trouble maker, I would prepare for possible trouble, but otherwise, ignore it. If other current parents are questioning it, you do have an issue to deal with.

Negatives do eventually become history. You just don't want them to become major problems first.
284878 07:39 PM 11-29-2017
Based on the fact that she is posting these things, I would suggest that you term her but do it in a way a NannyD would. In her book she says that when she must term an uncomfortable situation, She will term by not giving them two weeks but give them as long as it takes to find new care without charging them another penny.
The idea is to end the contract with your head held up. If I recall correctly, She says no one ever took her up on this offer.
lblanke 12:10 AM 11-30-2017
With my own child (breastfed), we were told by pediatrician to wam just in a bowl or sink of warm tap water, with the hot water heater less than 120 degrees to prevent burns. Is that an option to prevent future accidents? So sorry this happened.
nannyde 10:02 AM 11-30-2017
Is the child still attending?
Unregistered 04:06 PM 11-30-2017
We've actually only had one parent that has inquired about the posting. We told her our account, and she said, "Wow! That incident sounds much more reasonable. That's not what they're saying online at all". I just apologized that she thought that we were capable of some of the things they were saying. She was fine and her child is still coming.

I just have former terminated employees (I never terminate anyone unless I absolutely must) parents who left because they didn't like that they had to actually *pay us for their childcare, and even a previous director (who was there a month and drove away half my staff and families before I had to terminate her) coming out of the woodwork and commenting terrible things as well.

The child has not been back and mom has not returned our calls--she's probably ashamed to because of the lies she's spouting online.

She received government subsidies for her childcare and had only her co-pay to pay. She hadn't paid any of it in months, but we knew she was suffering financially, so we worked with her. After her Facebook post, I went ahead and terminated the services and subsidies due to her not paying her co-pays as required.

I truly feel she is going to regret her decisions once she goes to another center and realizes that they are not going to be as cooperative and *all too* lenient as we were with her. But no, they will not be welcome back at our center. I had already in the past contemplated terminating services with her before due to the excessive late pick ups and consistently poor behavior of her 4 year-old son, whom she would not work with us in aiding.

They were actually not even supposed to be there the day of the incident, as they were over an hour late picking up the night before and were not supposed to return until they paid the late fee. That's what "being nice" gets you.... :/
Josiegirl 02:54 AM 12-01-2017
She may be ashamed or if she's seeking out a lawyer, been told not to talk with you. I certainly hope it doesn't come to that. How badly did the child get burned? Has the state responded to you at all?

I'm sorry this all happened.
Tags:bottle warmers, burn, enforcing policies - consistency, environments, injuries, legal issues, regulations, safety issues
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