Help please! Fracture at playtime

(43 Posts)
MagicMN Sat 20-Apr-13 09:51:52

Mynson is in reception. I went to pick him up yesterday. He came out in tears. The T.A. said he bumped his face at 2.10 while running in the playground, he was taken inside he was fine, and that he started crying again when he was putting his coat on few minutes before. "he is tired", she said. We arrived home, he said he could not take his coat off cos his shoulder hurt. I took him to a&e.
Result:fracture of the collarbone.
I am furious!!!
The way they dismissed his tears, the way they let them run madly at playtime, everyhting. This is supposed to be an "outstanding" school.

Can anyone suggest me what to do? Do i have to speak to the teacher first? Or should i go to the headteacher first? On monday we have an apoointment at hospital so he will not go to school but i could pop to see the headmaster?
Could i sue the school??? I am really furioous!!!
Any suggestion will be appreciated because i dont know how to deal with this.

malteserzz Sat 20-Apr-13 10:01:23

If it happened at 210 then it couldn't have been long before you picked him up anyway it wasnt like they'd left him in pain for hours. I can understand that you are upset so go in on Monday and ask exactly what happened and if he told them that his shoulder hurt. Accidents do happen

MagratGarlik Sat 20-Apr-13 10:03:46

I can understand why you are furious - I would be too. They should have at have at the very least, got him checked over by a nurse. But, I also understand how it can be done. When my ds1 broke his leg, I didn't realize and waited 30 minutes before taking him to A&E (and then felt awful).

I'd go in calmly and ask for a meeting with both his teacher and the head. Explain, calmly, that your ds broke his collar bone and what you think they should have done to prevent it or make detection of the broken bone more efficient.

If you go in all guns blazing, you will lose any support from the staff and your ds will get a much harder time at school.

StuffezLaYoni Sat 20-Apr-13 10:05:14

What would suing the school achieve?

headinhands Sat 20-Apr-13 10:05:25

Sorry about your son op and hope he makes a speedy recovery but what changes would you like the school to make? Not let them ever run outside and have them call the parents every time a child hurts themselves. I'm certain they wouldn't have ignored an obvious broken bone op and it sounds like they did everything right. I suspect this thread will soon have countless accounts of parents who themselves missed a dc's fracture. It happens.

IDontDoIroning Sat 20-Apr-13 10:05:34

First accidents do happen at outstanding or other schools. School children do run round madly at play time that's quite normal, however there should be adequate supervision.

However, you are quite right to be concerned. - if he hit his face how is his collarbone fractured?

This suggests that they really dont know what happened or didn't investigate the incident properly.

I would go into school on Monday, tell them he has an injury sustained at school and tell them you have concerns over how it was dealt with at the time.

SoupDragon Sat 20-Apr-13 10:09:09

He was taken inside and was fine. Did they have any reason to think it was something more than a bump?
Could he have been fine until the movement of putting on a coat properly dislodged the collar bone and caused more pain?

SoupDragon Sat 20-Apr-13 10:10:05

Could i sue the school?

Missed this bit. FFS, he had an accident. It happens. What do you plan on suing them for??

literarygeek Sat 20-Apr-13 10:10:14

Sorry about your son. I can completely understand your anger and disappointment. That must be awful for you.

My kids are not in school yet, nor am I a teacher so feel free to ignore me but here is how I would approach.
I think this needs a good looking in to. It takes quite a lot of force to cause a fracture. Eg Collarbone fractures can be caused by going over bike handlebars and hitting cement. Very very Rarely, if children have brittle bones, less force is needed. It's important to know EXACTLY what happened so doctors can know if any further investigations are needed.
I think if I were in your position, I would call in on Monday to explain why ds is not coming in and ask to speak with someone regarding the incident. They should have policies in place as to what happens next. It is a serious incident.
However, although you are rightly very upset, please try to remain calm and polite in your discussions. Were you happy with the school before this? I think it's best not to talk of litigation at this stage until you have a clearer picture of events. Find out what happened and explain your obvious concerns. The school will be mortified and will likely have procedures for such incidents.
Once you know more- then decide your position. If the harm that came to your ds was a direct result of their negligence then I think you would be in a very strong position to enter legal proceedings. But that may not be really what you want. A sincere applogy, an explanation and reassurance of a safe school environment is probably more your concern.

Hope ds feels much better soon. Poor thing!

What would be the basis upon which you sue the school?

Is it because your son fell while running and broke his collarbone? Children do fall over when having fun and unless it was because of poor surface maintenance or allowing tinies to run with much bigger older children, then I struggle to see a case.

Or is it because they didn't spot his injury? They should have checked him over properly but if he had stopped crying quickly then they wouldn't think there was much wrong with him and in the busyness of the last few minutes of the day it would be easy to miss the connection with the previous fall.

I hope your ds heals quickly. Try not to act all angry about it around him, because that will be confusing and distressing to him.

literarygeek Sat 20-Apr-13 10:13:28

And of course, with the best will in the world accidents do happen- in school and elsewhere. I think it's just a case of not knowing exactly what happened here that's the issue.

rufusnine Sat 20-Apr-13 10:14:13

In my experience as a first aider when a child presents to you with an injury you ask age appropriate questions as to what happened and which parts hurt and deal with the injuries as appropriate - sometimes a child may be so focussed on 1 injury ie face that they do not mention any other point of injury at the time and it may only come to light later as in this case.

headinhands Sat 20-Apr-13 10:20:15

Literary - my son broke his elbow falling over on grass. Dd broke her arm falling off a bench. Sometimes it takes just a freak angle of impact to fracture a bone.

Accidents happen, horrible but why on earth would you sue the school, and what for? Being a child?

SoupDragon Sat 20-Apr-13 10:23:32

Collarbone fractures can be caused by going over bike handlebars and hitting cement.

I know someone who fractured their collarbone running into an older sibling.

MsPickle Sat 20-Apr-13 10:25:56

Literary my ds aged 2.5 snapped his collarbone with a fall from the arm of an armchair. He insisted he was fine. I took him home on the train, he howled going in and out of the buggy but otherwise didn't. I had to give him calpol in the wee hours because he was upset which prompted the A&E trip in the morning. It was clean through. I felt like a shit mum but there wasn't anything obvious from the original fall to suggest collarbone/real problem apart from a few tears which passed.

Op-his healed fast and well and he was back to normal speed in about 10 days. Hope your ds does the same.

5318008 Sat 20-Apr-13 10:28:46

yes they are called accidents not on-purposes

poor thing, not pleasant, I am sorry

literarygeek Sat 20-Apr-13 10:34:25

Sorry- of course fractures can happen with seemingly small force and not be at all sinister- but in your cases you were there and could see what happened, which is where the op needs some reassurance.

Hulababy Sat 20-Apr-13 10:40:03

We had a similar situation occur at my school last term.

A little boy in our Y2 class bumped into another child at school. His shoulder hit another child's cheek. Both boths were initially hurt and upset. The other's boys cheek was red but it died down and he was fine in himself within a few minutes.

The other little boy was very upset. He has autism and often reacts strongly to any form of bump. He was not reacting more than normal though so the headteacher and the deputy head sent him back to class. they were the ones dealing with the incident at breaktime on the first aid duty.
His class teacher, me, his 1:1 and another teacher saw him. He was very upset but he was moving his arm, there were no marks at all on his arm, not even any redness. He had taken his jumper off and then on again by himself with no additional change in his reactions. It was already almost 3pm and his mum was due at 3:20pm anyway. We consoled him as much as we could and explained everything o mum when she arrived and we did suggest a trip to A&E to rule anything out, as it was impossible to know from his reactions at the time and that he could move his arm as before.

Mum did take him to A&E and he had indeed broken his collarbone.

We all felt dreadful, really badly. Everyone obviously spoke to mum about it and as it happened the timings meant she couldn't have arrived earlier anyway.

But sometimes things are not that clear cut.

Hulababy Sat 20-Apr-13 10:41:54

Why would you sue the school?
What do you hope to achieve by suing the school?
How much would you hope to receive?

Hulababy Sat 20-Apr-13 10:44:36

Oh and yes, fractures can happen with very little force and even parents can not notice.

DD broke her foot when she tripped running from our kitchen to the living room. She did scream out but stopped within a short period of time. It was sore and painful to walk on, but there was no mark and no swelling. She has a tendency to "twist" and "sprain" herself so was not outside the realms of normal for her tbh.
Sent her to school the next day and it was only half way through the day that I received a phone call as her foot had started to really hurt. She had broken her metatarsal and badly sprained the tendons in her toes.

PoppadomPreach Sat 20-Apr-13 10:45:55

You want to sue the school because they let your child run in the playground?

Focus on getting your son better, not on making some money out of an accident.


my DS broke his wrist in reception class. He fell less than a metre onto that spongy rubber floor but put one arm out to save himself and all his weight went on it and it broke. This was at lunchtime and he was taken inside. Apparently he didn't cry but was cradling his wrist and wouldn't let the teachers see it. They called my DH and said the thought he should go to hospital just in case and would we like them to take him or would we like to pick him up. DH rang me at work and we both arrived a school 15 minutes later.

He seemed a little upset but was able to wiggle his fingers and turn his wrist around normally although he complained it hurt to do that. I thought it would probably be just a sprain but after ages at the hospital it turned out to not just be broken but displaced. He had to have it manipulated before being cast and only just avoided a pin and plate.

My point being that it wasn't a nasty fall and he didn't seem overly fussed about it but it was a serious break (8 weeks in plaster). at no point did it occur to me to sue the school. Accidents happen but perhaps you could ask school to review the case to see if they had missed any signs that this required medical attention.

intheshed Sat 20-Apr-13 11:00:20

I feel for you and your son, but don't see what you could sue the school for, or what they could have done differently. A friend's DS broke his wrist playing football at school, a girl in DD's class recently sprained her ankle falling off the climbing frame at school. These things do happen.

radicalsubstitution Sat 20-Apr-13 11:16:15

Could i sue the school??

Surely this has to be a wind-up? No-one in their right minds would actually make this comment on this board. It's just inviting a flaming.

Go ahead - sue the school.

After all, taxpayers (and schools) have nothing better to spend their money on.

spanieleyes Sat 20-Apr-13 11:25:30

Clearly "outstanding" schools shouldn't have accidents, leave that to the "good" schools!

podgymumma Sat 20-Apr-13 11:31:50

Did he mention his shoulder hurt to the TA?
Was there any marks on his shoulder to suggest he'd broken it? Probably not!!

What has an outstanding school got to do with it?
What would suing achieve?

I guess you've never worked in a school by your comment "the way they let them run madly at playtime" are they supposed to stand still on the spot?

radicalsubstitution Sat 20-Apr-13 11:40:54

are they supposed to stand still on the spot? grin

ArabellaBeaumaris Sat 20-Apr-13 13:05:50

My DD fractured her collarbone falling out of a low bed!

spanieleyes Sat 20-Apr-13 13:34:08

My son rolled off the couch onto a cushion on the floor and broke his arm,he fell over in the playground and broke his knee, jumped on a bouncy castle and broke three toes! The point is accidents do happen, it is often hard to say whether bones are broken at this age ( I made him walk around town for half an hour with broken toes as I didn't realise!) and all a school can really do is say an accident happened, check it out ( unless it is clearly broken)

Jinty64 Sat 20-Apr-13 13:35:33

I fell off my scooter and cut my leg. I made such a huge fuss about my leg it was ten days before my parents realised I had broken my arm!

It's not always easy to get the correct information from a small child and the TA did say he was taken inside and that he had stopped crying and seemed fine. Talk of suing the school doesn't bode we'll for you or your son's future relationship with them and is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 20-Apr-13 13:42:42

What you need to do is calm down.

Children run around. Accidents happen. Collarbone fractures are common in little kids. It's also a fracture that is commonly missed, it's not as obvious as an arm/leg fracture (maybe because you move it less?).

Do you really want to send your child to a school that doesn't allow them to run around at playtime? Really?

Fenton Sat 20-Apr-13 13:54:46

I can understand how upset you are, but really no-one is to blame for the fracture not being picked up immediately.

DS2 broke his collar bone when he was four, by swinging a bat and falling awkwardly. He came in crying but calmed down quite soon and carried on playing. Over the next few days he complained it still hurt a bit, it was only when I noticed he was avoiding lifting his arm when he was pulling on his clothes that I took him to the docs, who sent him for an xray.

So about a week after the injury I discovered my little boy had a broken collar bone - I cried when the doctor told me, I felt just dreadful that I hadn't known.

He'll have to take it easy for a bit - no trampoleneing or anything wink - but he will mend fine - no need to go at it with the school.

cory Sat 20-Apr-13 21:49:42

Personally, I would only sue the school in a situation where I myself, as a parent, would be willing to accept blame if it happened on my watch.

My dd gave herself concussion by walking sedately down our uncluttered hallway, tripping over her own feet and banging her head against the wall. Her friend broke her leg by falling off the bottom step of a carpeted staircase. There isn't enough cotton wool in the world to ensure no child ever gets injured.

And as other people have said, broken bones can be very hard to spot at this age.

FullOfChoc Sat 20-Apr-13 22:04:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

AbbyR1973 Sat 20-Apr-13 22:07:00

Fractures of the clavicle are typically caused by a fall on an outstretched hand or a fall onto a shoulder. It is a fairly common injury and could easily happen at home.
The only way of being certain this could never happen would be if your child never ran around, rode a bike,climbed anything. The injury is not the school's fault (unless it was caused by an unreasonably dangerous piece of equipment or trip hazard.)
I can understand you being cross with the school for not recognising this but it's not entirely uncommon for parents to take a while to pick up on these injuries as they are not necessarily as immediately obvious as say a fractured wrist. The swelling is not always immediate. A child with a fractured clavicle can typically still move the arm on the affected side but wouldn't be able to lift that arm in the air.
The teachers are not medical professionals. I imagine most members of the Public if confronted with a child that said they had hurt their face would look at their face not another part of their body.
I'm not sure how it would help to sue the school. Accidents happen and as a society we have got far too litigious. If the school has to pay out it would only deprive your child and all the children in the school of money that would be better spent on books and equipment. Schools' money comes taxes which we all pay for. If it came out of insurance it would push up insurance premiums which again means children lose out.

dangly131 Sat 20-Apr-13 22:10:02

I think she maybe wants to sue because lots of money helps to heal fractures and mental scars and makes things all better again. If you get enough you can even make a cast out of it for your child to wear! The rest can be used to soften the surface of the playground to stop it happening again!

Startail Sat 20-Apr-13 22:15:55

Another one with a DD who has broken both bones in her arm clean through and could not only wiggle her fingers, but got a nights sleep on one dose of Calpol.

KansasCityOctopus Sat 20-Apr-13 22:18:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Sat 20-Apr-13 22:38:20

Friend's little boy (was 4, in his first term at school) broke his collarbone recently. He was running down his driveway at home, tripped and fell. It's called an accident. They happen when you have dc.
As people have said upthread, he fell, and was taken into first aid. The accident was mentioned to you. It was not obvious he had damaged his shoulder - if he'd hurt his face, that might be all he was focused on and he might not even have told the school.
However, any symapthy I had for you was lost when you asked if you should sue the school.
By the way, what has the school's last OFSTED rating got to do with anything ? confused

lljkk Sun 21-Apr-13 10:12:36

OP's child had playtime after 2:10pm? confused Did she mean 12:10pm, maybe?

They can only go on the symptoms as they present and as they are informed about. If boy didn't mention his collar area, or if school sent home every child who complained of a sore body part with no other evidence, the school would be half-empty.

As an adult I broke my arm; took me nearly 2 hours to realise arm wasn't right and to go get diagnosed.

Collarbone is a hard one to diagnose. Plus with any break takes a while for adrenalin to subside & the swelling to come up fully.

Hope your lad feels better soon. DD is one of 2 girls to break their arms at school this year. Both were totally incapable of running about afterwards, pretty obvious it was a significant injury. Whereas sounds like OP's son presented with nothing more than being a bit shook up & mardy later on. No wonder they thought it was nothing worse than a bump.

Hulababy Sun 21-Apr-13 10:15:56

Lots of schools have afternoon play times. At my school it's 2:15-2:30pm

landofsoapandglory Sun 21-Apr-13 10:33:45

8 weeks ago DS2(16) had an accident playing rugby at school. He dislocated and fractured his shoulder, and has extensive soft tissue damage inside the joint. He had tests yesterday and there is a distinct possibility the nerve damage is permanent and at present the bones are moving together properly.

I haven't even considered suing the school. They were playing rugby by the rules, it was no one's fault. They are called accidents for a reason.

I can not understand the OP being so angry, TBH. Her DS told the staff he had hurt his face, he stopped crying and got on with the day. How were they to know he had hurt his collar bone? I think she needs to calm down. Kids do run around, bump into each other, fall over and get hurt. That's life, it's no one's fault.

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