Mum says nursery was ‘let off’ after son suffered horrific burns
A mum whose son suffered horrific burns to his face has hit out after the nursery where it happened was ‘let off’ with a caution.
A bowl of hot water tipped over 18-month-old Reuben Adams at Bridge End House Nursery in August.
Sarah Walker, 29, was left ‘distraught and in hysterics’ after being told what had happened to her toddler son.
He suffered burns to the left hand side of his face, his left shoulder and behind his ear and needed intensive treatment at Pinderfields General Hospital.
Today, Kirklees Council said it had completed its investigation into the incident.
In a statement it said: ‘The immediate cause of the incident was not closing the door to the kitchenette, but officers found it was not the only contributing factor to this incident.
‘Underlying causes played a significant role including nursery policies, staff training, allocation of staffing and deviation from agreed company procedures.
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‘Bridge End House Nursery Fixby has co-operated fully with the council’s investigation and has made significant improvements to ensure this type of accident doesn’t happen again.’
But Sarah said: ‘I am absolutely not happy. I would like to see the nursery prosecuted or shut down. I will be looking at taking this further. Giving it a caution is not good enough.
‘Reuben is still reliving this accident night after night and suffering ‘night terrors’.’
She said she hoped her petition calling for more stringent action to be taken would be going ‘live’ soon and said her Facebook page on the issue had garnered almost 800 shares.
An Ofsted report into the nusery as recently as November 10 to discuss further what had happened to Reuben still found cause for concern.
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‘We found a number of breaches that contributed to this incident,’ it said. ‘Staff/child ratios were not met and deployment of staff was poor in the baby room.
‘Risk assessments were inadequate which resulted in a child opening a safety barrier, accessing a milk kitchen and reaching a bowl of hot water.
‘No clear guidance was available on how to warm bottles safely. First aid was administered immediately, however, at one point, flannels were placed on a burn.
‘We found there was a delay in contacting the emergency services and parents.’
Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet lead for enforcement, said: ‘Whilst the council has issued a caution in this instance it does not detract from the seriousness of the incident.
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‘I would like to remind all premises how dangerous breaches of health and safety such as this can be.’
Nursery director Chris Stoker said: ‘The nursery recognise the impact that this accident has had on Reuben and his family and understand their thoughts and feelings as no child should ever have to experience an accident of this nature.
‘Throughout the investigation into how this happened this has been at the forefront of our focus, ensuring that what Reuben went through can never happen to another child.’
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