Non-mobile baby protocol
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  1. #1
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    Default Non-mobile baby protocol

    Non mobile baby protocol

    Some childminders have been told by their Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) to write a ‘non-mobile / moving baby protocol’. This is in response to a Serious Case Review (safeguarding review after an investigation into the death of a child) which notes that, ‘Accidental bruising on non-independently mobile infants is rare and should therefore always warrant further investigation’. You can find more information on the NSPCC website here -

    The aim of the protocol is to safeguard non-moving babies - and older children who are unable to move because they are, for example, disabled - by putting procedures in place to protect them if they are observed to have unexplained bruising or other injuries such as fractures, burns or head injuries which might suggest they have been subjected to abuse.

    Experts recognise that innocent bruising and other injuries might occur, especially in mobile babies. However, evidence states that it is highly unlikely that innocent bruising or other injuries will be observed in non-mobile babies.

    If you are asked to write this protocol, you can add a few lines to your safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures as follows…

    Policy – all childminders are required to keep babies and children safe from harm. We recognise that non-mobile babies (and older children who are disabled) are vulnerable and at risk of physical abuse. Evidence states that the younger the child, the higher the risk that bruising or a mark on a baby is non-accidental. It is a requirement of our LSCB that we refer all cases of bruising in non-mobile babies and older children to them for investigation.

    Procedure – if a non-mobile baby or older non-mobile disabled child arrives in our provision with a bruise or other mark which could suggest abuse the mark will be recorded on an ‘existing injury’ form. If a reason has been given for the mark or injury by parent(s) this will also be recorded. Parent(s) will be asked to sign the form.

    If a non-mobile baby or older non-mobile disabled child has an accident while in our care that causes a mark or other injury, details will be recoded on our accident form. Parent(s) will be asked to sign the form.

    Early years providers are not qualified to investigate the cause of bruises or other indications of abuse in babies and children and it is important to report any marks that give cause for concern to Children’s Social Care in case of abuse (your LA might call this agency something different) and a doctor (in case an illness has caused the mark) for further assessment and investigation of potential child abuse without delay. Ofsted must also be informed as quickly as possible (within 14 days but don't delay).

    Recording accidents

    It is very important that all bumps, bruises and marks on a baby are noted as soon as possible after they have been observed and forms are placed in the baby's file. For example –
    • Another child passed a toy to Baby A a little roughly and caused a bruise on the Baby A’s head - right temple just above the eye.
    • Dad reports that Baby A was sitting unstrapped in his car seat at home and his older sibling tipped him out causing a bruise / bump / injury to Baby A’s arm / leg.
    • Baby A was picked up, carried and dropped by an older child and has a bruise on his arm / leg.
    • Baby A was being held when he went rigid and threw himself backwards. The practitioner was unable to stop his head making contact with the wall and he has a red mark on the top of his head.
    • Baby A was lying on the floor when he started fitting. An ambulance was called and the paramedic (name) noted some emerging bruises on Baby A’s upper torso when removing his clothes to cool him down.
    • When I went to the toilet I placed Baby A in the travel cot and left another child playing independently in the room. In the few moments I was out of the room, the other child climbed into the travel cot and injured Baby A with a toy. Baby A has a mark …
    • Mum explained that the small bruise of Baby A’s upper right arm was caused at the weekend by his brother who was being over-enthusiastic with a toy.

    Record keeping

    Accidents, incidents, injuries in the provision or at home, physical intervention and any other reports must be made in writing, as soon as possible after the incident occurred. In all cases it is important to note –
    • Child’s name and date of birth
    • Date and time of the accident
    • Who was present (witnesses)
    • Exactly what happened or exactly what you are told happened
    • What injuries were caused and a record of any first aid carried out
    • Whether parents were advised to take baby to the hospital / doctor – this advice must always be given in event of a head injury
    • Whether a referral was made to another agency – police, doctor, social services etc
    • The provider must sign and date the record
    • A signature and date of signing should normally** be requested from parents.

    Note - do not take photos of the baby / child’s injuries.

    **In the case of a suspicion of sexual abuse the authorities must be informed (not parents).

    Risk assessment

    If there is an ongoing concern – for example, if the baby was picked up by an older child or a child in your care is rough with the baby or you have made a mistake and left a baby and young child unsupervised, you need to review your risk assessment to show that you have learned from your mistake and have put steps in place to stop it happening in the future.

    If there is a concern about another child’s behaviour that has put a baby at risk of harm, you need to call parents in for an urgent ‘what we are going to do next to tackle this’ meeting. The discussion should be recorded along with strategies you are going to take to support the child in the future – and ideally signed by parents. A further meeting date and time should be set.

    Note the wording in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS, 2014) requirement 3.41 – ‘Any care provided for older children must not adversely affect the care of children receiving early years provision.’

    Sharing information with parents

    If you make changes to any of your policies and procedures including to your Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Procedure you must inform parents in writing. It is good practice to request their feedback and to ask them to sign to confirm they have read and understood your procedures.

    Sarah Neville
    Guidance updated 02.2017

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  3. #2
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    Thank you Sarah, don't know how you do it all but very grateful that you bring these things to our attention and how to include them in our practice. Thank you x

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by watford wizz View Post
    Thank you Sarah, don't know how you do it all but very grateful that you bring these things to our attention and how to include them in our practice. Thank you x
    Thank you from me too. X

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  6. #4
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    Thank you Sarah, much appreciated.

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  8. #5
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    Thank you Sarah I have printed and saved as I will have 3 such children in my care after Easter.

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