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Baby injured at childminders - advice needed please

(213 Posts)
EmilyD2012 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:03:05

My DS (10mo) returned from the childminders on Tuesday evening suffering from sunburn. Overnight his face swelled up badly, by Wednesday morning his face was horrific - bright red and he couldn't open his left eye because it was so swollen. We took him to A&E and were told he was most likely suffering an allergic reaction to something or severe sunburn.

After giving him antihistemines and pain relief we were discharged and his face slowly started to deflate. Yesterday afternoon his skin started to blister and, by the evening, was weeping constantly. I took him to the doctors who said that he was suffering from serious sunburn to the face. I asked the childminder how long he had been out in the sun for and she said it had been 30 minutes at most. The doctor disputed this and said that it was very unlikely to have such a dramatic reaction to just 30 minutes in the sun. It is only April, after all.

The childminder is a friend of mine and has always been brilliant with my DS (she has a baby the same age). No part of me thinks that she would have deliberately let him come to any harm. That said, the last 48 hours have been horrendous. Every time I look at my baby my heart breaks. His face is a mass of blisters and open wounds. His left eye looks like it could bruise. I've been given hydrocortisone cream to treat the skin but every time I touch him he screams in pain. Last night I put him to bed and wept.

Today, the childminder came round and saw for herself what a terrible state he is in. I didn't want to make her feel worse than she no doubt already is, but equally felt it was important for her to see that I wasn't exaggerating when I contacted her from the doctors yesterday.

I just don't know what to do. Some of my friends say that such a careless act is unforgivable and I should never leave my DS with her again. Others are more forgiving and say that, after seeing him, she has surely learnt her lesson.

Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. What would you do?

Thank you x

thebeastandbeauty Thu 25-Apr-13 14:07:00

You poor thing, that sounds awful.

I think I'd be terminating the contract sad I am by no means a cotton wool mother but I kept my DC in the shade when they were babies and would be living if my 10 month old ended up in that state.

Could your DS have a condition that makes him react very badly to the sun? Did the GP mention that? It's just I'm sure I read on here that someone had a child who reacted very, very badly to minimal sun.

FannyFifer Thu 25-Apr-13 14:07:37

Good god that's sounds awful.

Do not put hydrocortisone cream on open wounds, don't think that is recommended at all and may make things worse.

Go back to Dr, or maybe bring to A&E sounds like may need properly treated for burns and probably an antibiotic.

Your poor poor baby.

Saltire Thu 25-Apr-13 14:08:18

My granny used to react very badly (like you describe) in the sun. She had to cover up with long sleeves, long leg trousers or skirt, hat etc, even to put the washing out.

It is possible this ha shappened with your son

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 25-Apr-13 14:10:16

I would try and find out what else it could be. Get a second opinion. It doesn't sound like sunburn at all. If it is sunburn, maybe he has unusually sensitive skin? I can't see how he could possibly get that badly sunburnt by accident. Was the childminders child sunburnt? If she was out with both of them in the sun all day, wouldn't her child also be badly burnt? Is it only on his face? Something doesn't add up here imo.

CrowsLanding Thu 25-Apr-13 14:12:16

OutragedFromLeeds I completely agree. You must get a second opinion op. Hope your ds gets better soon thanks

Pootles2010 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:12:51

I agree with outraged, odd that a&e thought it an allergic reaction. Sounds not quite right about sunburn tbh, get a second opinion.

Thurlow Thu 25-Apr-13 14:13:23

That's terrible. Personally, I'd be tempted to talk to a doctor again and ask how long your son needed to be outside in direct sunlight to burn that badly, firstly because those does sound like a very extreme reaction to April sun, and secondly to give your CM the benefit if the doubt. Is she a registered CM? (I know some people do still just use friends for childcare). I'd be amazed if a registered, qualified CM looking after her friend's baby let them sit in direct sun for hours. Not that I'm saying it wouldn't ever happen, just that it's such a basic thing, keeping kids out of the sun, that it would seem such an unusual thing for a CM to do

Hope your DS gets better, that must be awful.

Saltire Thu 25-Apr-13 14:14:54

Is it possibly an insect sting? I know some people can react badly to bee/wasp stings

I agree with outraged, it does sound very severa to be sunburn - and only on his face. If it was that hot surely ohher parts would be burnt and also her own child or other mindees would be burnt too

I'd get a second opinion first. That's extreme sunburn even if they were out all day. It's warm but not that warm . Either it's a reaction like first dr said or your baby is very sensitive to sunlight. Did she put sun cream on his face could it be that?

EmilyD2012 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:18:05

Thank you so much for the responses.

Neither myself or DS's dad have especially sensitive skin, but clearly he has had a very bad reaction to the sun (assuming that's what it is and there is no other information being withheld). My fear is that he was left out in the sun for well over half an hour. In places it looks like his skin has almost 'melted'. I'm crying as I type this, it's just awful.

When the childminder turned up today she brought her DD with her. She is also sunburnt but not to the same extent. Nowhere near. That said, she does have a slightly darker skin tone, but even so. The difference between them is stark.

Packing up to go back to the A&E dept now - will check in when back to see if there are any more thoughts on here and to update you.

Thank you again so much for your support x

afussyphase Thu 25-Apr-13 14:18:49

Definitely get another opinion. Sunburn - even being out in the April sun all day - would not normally be that bad. Could he be allergic to sunscreen? I am very, very susceptible to sun, in a normal way, and it takes me a good 8 hours of tropical beach exposure to get multiple blisters. (I've tried it, unhappily enough)..
I've got a very mild sunburn from being out for several hours yesterday (here in the UK). Do you have any doctor friends that you could ask?

thebeastandbeauty Thu 25-Apr-13 14:21:25

"When the childminder turned up today she brought her DD with her. She is also sunburnt"

Doesn't sound good to me sad

I'm not trying to go on a witch hunt with your c/m here. But two burnt children in one day?

thebeastandbeauty Thu 25-Apr-13 14:21:43

Good luck at a and e, btw. Hope your DS is better very soon.

FannyFifer Thu 25-Apr-13 14:23:28

Bloody hell, melted, this sounds really quite odd reaction to the sun.

Make sure you are giving him plenty pain relief as well. Good luck at hospital, they might admit him.

Poor wee thing.

There is a medical condition called XP where children are allergic to light. Has he ever screamed before in bright light?

FannyFifer Thu 25-Apr-13 14:24:36

Plenty fluids as well, heat, blisters etc can make him dehydrated.

To all those saying sunburn can't be that bad over 30 minutes in April - well, I managed to burn my arms and chest lobster red during a 15 minute walk yesterday. It's possible.

Having said that, no degree of sunburn is acceptable and this sounds very severe indeed. The CM may not be lying about the length of time spent outside though.

Trazzletoes Thu 25-Apr-13 14:30:00

I have a friend who is allergic to the sun. It's pretty nasty.

And DS swells up like a balloon with certain suncreams.

It definitely sounds like this is more than just sunburn.

Thurlow Thu 25-Apr-13 14:32:03

If her DD was sunburnt as well that doesn't sound good, though I stick with the first thought that this does sound like an extreme reaction. Perhaps because the CM's DD doesn't burn easily she didn't realise your DS would. Which is certainly something I'd be having extremely strong words about.

I think, if it was an hour in the sun without suncream because the CM thought he would react as her DD did, and perhaps because your DS has reacted very strongly to something, I wouldn't be ending her contract but I would be having a very serious discussion about it, making sure she knows you were very upset, that nothing like this can happen again, that anything else happening will mean you'll terminate your contract, and as long as she is upset and apologetic I would still use her. If it was 2 hours in the sun... nope, I'd stop using her.

I hope you get seen quickly at A&E and get some answers.

popsnsqeeze Thu 25-Apr-13 19:06:17

Any news OP?

Coconutty Thu 25-Apr-13 19:10:07

That is awful. What did she say when she saw your DS?

Tanith Thu 25-Apr-13 19:13:47

It sounds like an allergy to me.

DS is allergic to many brands of suncream and produced almost exactly the same reaction to one brand: horrible blistering skin that looked in parts as though he'd been flayed sad

Why do you think the childminder is lying to you? More importantly, why are you telling your friends that the childminder is lying to you?
She might well be telling you the truth. Unless she has form for lying to you, I think you should believe her. Her own child having a touch of sunburn isn't really anything to go by, since she may well have stayed out longer than your DS.

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 25-Apr-13 19:14:32

A lot of people got caught out with the sun on Tuesday. There is another thread in chat about a toddler who got burnt at nursery. I got burnt that day as well. I think the weather changed suddenly and because it didn't feel that hot, people made the mistake of thinking sun cream wasn't needed. I think it's understandable that she spent 30 mins with them outside without putting suncream on. A mistake obviously, but an understandable one. If her DD is only slightly burnt, I think your DS must have had an unusually bad reaction for one reason or another. If this is the case you can't really blame the childminder.

Did you put suncream on him in the morning before you sent him OP? Or put suncream in his bag to be applied later?

AllThatGlistens Thu 25-Apr-13 19:16:22

Good grief that's awful! So glad you're going back to A+E with him, hope you get some definitive answers soon sad

If it is indeed sunburn, I absolutely would not be leaving my child in her care again, it's negligent and bloody dangerous! Friend or no, your DS's health comes before anything, and you'd be worrying endlessly whilst he was in her care.

Hope you and your little one are okay flowers

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