Bruises you never noticed but parent asks about
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  1. #1
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    Default Bruises you never noticed but parent asks about

    Hiya,

    Have a 3 year old once every two weeks. He's not long started. Everything's great but today his mum messaged me a few hours after he got home asking if he had fell today as he has a bruise on his arm. I didn't notice any falls or anything significant to warrant answering yes. I mean he's a normal 3 year old. Doesn't always look where he's going and his arm may have knocked into something but I wasn't aware.

    Anyway I told her this and she was fine and said it's ok but said his dad can be funny (they aren't together)

    It's made me nervous about having him. All this conversation was on a message so I have it all recorded.

    What I wanted to ask is do you check your LOs when they arrive? It's cold here now and he had a jumper on and I didn't make him take it off to check him. Plus it's not like I can ask a 3 year old to strip to his pants so I can check for marks before our day starts.

    I just wondered what everyone does and what your reply would be to a parent if you didn't witness anything that would say he bruised in my care.

    Thank you!

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    You can't go looking for bruises on children every time they arrive. Children this age bump a lot but make sure you get mum to sign for any incidents/injuries at your house. All you can do now is write this up and get mum to sign, it could have happened anywhere in yours, mums or dad's care.

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    At three she could have asked the child how he did it. I know they aren't always reliable though but maybe have a chat to him to remind him that he must always tell you if he hurts himself at your house. x

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    The parent has made a serious allegation which cannot be ignored.

    Write it up as a safeguarding incident and plan a meeting with parent/s to discuss it before moving on.

    You might need to involve the local safeguarding children board if the parent makes another allegation or questions your care of the child - it's very important that you are open about everything that did / did not happen.

    Make sure parent/s tell you about things that happen at home - you might need to show Ofsted how you record all parent comments and encourage shared information.

    Hugs x

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah707 View Post
    The parent has made a serious allegation which cannot be ignored.

    Write it up as a safeguarding incident and plan a meeting with parent/s to discuss it before moving on.

    You might need to involve the local safeguarding children board if the parent makes another allegation or questions your care of the child - it's very important that you are open about everything that did / did not happen.

    Make sure parent/s tell you about things that happen at home - you might need to show Ofsted how you record all parent comments and encourage shared information.

    Hugs x
    She didn't accuse me straight on. He was dropped off at his nans for 3 hours before she messaged me so he could of done it there. She said that it's fine and told me not to worry she just wanted to ask.

    But there is a safeguarding issue in place with his nursery that I have asked about and I feel like I must be exceptionally careful with this family.

    If I have a meeting with her what do I say? It was all kind of said and done in a message and she said it was fine at the end and she just wanted to ask because he was telling her it hurt and she was worried because he was going to his dad's the next day. I will print the message and log that in his file.

    I find I am worrying about every little thing with my job at the moment. As much as I love it stuff like this can really make you fret.

    Thank you

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    Oh poor you. If you aren't feeling comfortable with this family now at the start I'm afraid I wouldn't carry on because they won't change.I would record everything.Young children are always bumping, tripping whilst exploring. You go to the park and one of them will bump into something or other.So if you are feeling uncomfortable don't carry on with this family .

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathremuk View Post
    She didn't accuse me straight on. He was dropped off at his nans for 3 hours before she messaged me so he could of done it there. She said that it's fine and told me not to worry she just wanted to ask.

    But there is a safeguarding issue in place with his nursery that I have asked about and I feel like I must be exceptionally careful with this family.

    If I have a meeting with her what do I say? It was all kind of said and done in a message and she said it was fine at the end and she just wanted to ask because he was telling her it hurt and she was worried because he was going to his dad's the next day. I will print the message and log that in his file.

    I find I am worrying about every little thing with my job at the moment. As much as I love it stuff like this can really make you fret.

    Thank you
    It's very difficult because the term "safeguarding issue" tends to trigger a form of panic response in many parents and childcare workers.

    I've certainly gone through times when I've felt as if I need to 'strip-search' every child for marks and bruises on arrival. This is patently ridiculous, but some 'experts' do leave you thinking this way, especially when you've just been on a safeguarding course and left feeling as if childcare is all about safeguarding and nothing else (which is always the problem with courses: they focus on one subject to the exclusion of all else.)

    To put things in perspective (and you've already identified these points):-
    • The child is at a stage where bruising is normal and not an automatic indication of abuse or neglect.
    • He had at least 3 hours to get bruised at Nan's since he had been in your care.
    • I get the impression Mum was asking "if" it happened at your place, rather than alleging it did.

    Do what you are required to do: write a full and purely factual account of what you saw,heard and were told. As I say, my interpretation of your post is that mum did not make an allegation: but only you know what mum said, so only you can make that judgment. If you're not sure, then ask her (matter-of-fact and politely). Just say that you need to know, as a procedural formality, whether she is claiming the bruising occurred whilst in your care, as that would oblige you to submit a report. (That might actually make her 'back off' a little, but at least you'll know how to proceed for sure.) Write in your report whether or not mum is making an allegation.

    You have a potentially toxic situation, with parents (by the sound of it) separated, and the child also attending nursery and gran's. I guess it depends on how well mum and dad get on. Where are they on the scale between 'perfectly amicable' and 'at one another's throats'? If they tend towards the latter, then there's some chance they're each looking to blame one another, or even blame the other's choice of nursery/CM/gran, etc. Again, you know best and so I'm not going to say whether you should persevere or drop them like a hot brick.

    Some parents go into orbit about a little bump picked up in the normal course of play: others are totally realistic about it. I had one who used to flip if her DD picked up any sort of mark, but only if her in-laws were visiting: because they'd give mum h3ll and criticise her parenting as a result. Still not " a safeguarding issue" one could really take seriously.

    The fact that "...there is a safeguarding issue in place with his nursery..." does complicate things a bit. Again, it's difficult for us to advise without knowing the nature of this, and I appreciate it may well be impossible for you to say any more. I suppose it depends whether (and why) nursery have raised an issue about the family or, conversely, the family have raised an issue about nursery.

    Btw, on the subject of safeguarding and a sense of proportion, not long ago I had to deal with a very upset mum at toddler group. Her lo was attending a local nursery, TTO. She asked nursery if her lo could attend a few extra days in the holidays so mum could get a few things done at home in peace and quiet; mum made the mistake of saying, jokingly, "sometimes DD does my head in." Within hours, the nursery manager asked mum to come in and she found herself having to explain herself. The child's key worker had reported mum's comments to the manager as "a safeguarding issue" and proof that she was "unable to cope" with the child, therefore providing "evidence of neglect."
    Last edited by bunyip; 24-10-2016 at 08:41 AM.

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