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Please give me advice regarding accident reports at nursery

(13 Posts)
cakehappy Mon 10-Dec-12 19:47:39

My DS is 14 months and has been walking for aprox 3 weeks. He is a very active, inquisitve boy and loves to explore. He has been going to a reputable nursery for 13 weeks, 3 times week, with a few one and two day weeks in the beginning while we waited for a space on the 3rd day to open. He has spent a total of aprox 30 days at nursery.
Since he has started nursery there has been aprox 12-13 times where I or my DH have gotten a phone call saying he has had an accident. They are all head injuries of varing degrees of severity, the most serious being a large goose egg and a bruise for a week but some not even resulting in a mark.( As they have a policy regarding head injuries they have to call me when anything happens).
Unfortunately within the first 2 days he had had an quite a bad accident and basically the phone calls havent stopped.
This is my first child, I have absolutely no idea if this is normal for a child to have so many accidents at nursery but am starting to get very very alarmed and am less than confident in their ability to safeguard him. I have tried on many occassions to find out from them if he has more accidents than most as it seems so many to me, but as you can imagine they are incredibly vague about what is normal, as apparently it depends on the child. I am ready to pull him out immediately as the last 4 days in nursery there has been 3 accidents on 3 different days (and I am fed up to say the least) and find a new nursery but I would hate to make him go through a whole new transition to a new nursery and then find the exact same thing.
So my question to you dear MNers, how many accidents is too many for a very active and outgoing little boy at nursery? How concerned should I be?What would you do in my situation??

NatashaBee Mon 10-Dec-12 19:50:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GrimAndHumourlessAndEven Mon 10-Dec-12 19:53:21

has he recently mastered walking and climbing? these are prime times for trips and bumps. Also new shoes often coincide with a spate of falls

there's a balance to be struck between letting the child challenge themselves, and not intervening when they attempt something patently dangerous IYSWIM

hmm not very helpful to you really, just rambling, sorry

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 10-Dec-12 19:54:15

This does sound a lot.

If you think about how he is at home or at a friend's house, if you applied their policy about defining an accident, how many would you think he has in, say, a week? If it's not many fewer than nursery, it might just be that he is accident prone (I have one of these children, I'd love to tell you that they grow out of it but....)

If it's much less, I suggest you ask for a proper meeting with his key worker (ie not just at pick up or drop off) to discuss what they think is happening, and why he is having so many accidents. If nothing else, their attitude to this request, and the conversation, should tell you what you need to know about their safeguarding approach. Eg I was concerned when DS was coming home covered in bites from nursery, but they managed the problem so well that I was reassured that they were doing a good job in keeping him safe.

Does this help with a plan of action?

wearymum200 Mon 10-Dec-12 19:55:55

Ime children just learning to walk fall all the time and yes, often onto their heads. Both my dc did. Our nursery manager always said that she'd like to put cycle helmets on them all at that age to cut down on the number of middle of the forehead bruises. Both my dc tumbled at home in the same way. Some children are more accident prone than others.
Nursery never called me about a head injury (but that's more likely to be a policy thing than reflect the severity of injury), but there were periods when I seemed to be countersigning an accident report almost daily (and our nursery only did reports for tumbles that left visible marks). Having said all that, I was always happy with the care dc were receiving.
I think the important thing is how you feel about ds being there in general. Can you ask to go in and observe? Does ds fall at home? Hope you get it sorted.

phoenixrose314 Mon 10-Dec-12 19:57:35

Hi! Nursery teacher here grin

Some kids literally do have accidents 2-3 times a week. They are the inquisitive, exploring kinds of children who have no qualms seeing what will happen if they swing from the tallest pole, or climb up to the highest point on the climbing frame, or stack the tallest amount of blocks that will of course inevitably fall down.

If your child has only recently started, I would say hold on for a while... most of my most boisterous/playful kiddies have eased off on the accidents recently, but it's taken two terms to get there.

Give him a chance - I know it sounds harsh but he is learning, in his own way, what is safe and what is not. Some children learn by being told, others by seeing it, unfortunately majority learn only by doing and learning from mistakes.

Good luck, I hope your mind is eased soon xx

WeezyPeezy Mon 10-Dec-12 20:20:57

I used to be a registered childminder and three times a wk seems excessive to me. I had up to ten children on my books and in one year only had three reports of accidents between all ten. Two from the same child (learning to walk) over a period of four mths and one from a 5yo after a scooter fall. Are there any obvious risks you can see in the room he is in?
You can request to see their policies and procedures, particularly pertaining to risk assessment if you wish. How was their most recent Ofsted report? I'd probably request a chat with the manager as you have a right to have your queries answered. They would much rather discuss it than lose you. Don't worry about appearing 'neurotic, he is your child and you have every right to investigate these reports. I reported all accidents but it sounds like they're either not paying close enough attention or are over cautious. I wouldn't have, for example, recorded one child throwing a soft toy at another's head or a standing to bottom bump down. You have to use common sense as to what is an 'accident' and what is regular rough and tumble of a care setting. Good luck!!

cakehappy Mon 10-Dec-12 21:01:48

Thank you for all your replies! Their Ofsted report was very good and in all other areas I am very very happy with them. My DS absolutely loves it there and eats, sleeps and plays, and has bonded so well with the teachers, they love him too. I had a meeting this evening with the manager and the result is that they are going to shadow him for the time being to see if they can reduce the amount of accidents. I am not a neurotic mother ( I think) and hate being upset about this and complaining...but I just can't help thinking that if they were keeping a closer eye he would be "safer". If he ever had a serious accident at nursery I would forever blame myself for not seeing the writing on the wall so to speak and moving him somewhere else. The ratios are 3/1 and they give the children a lot of space and free flow between the rooms with lots and lots of activities so there is plenty of opportunity for my DS to get into things! At home I also give him a lot a lot of freedom to explore and enjoy his environment and he does often trip and fall and is quite clumsy but doesn't often hit his head. Perhaps I just need to chill out...I am just a bit worried that's all.

WeezyPeezy Mon 10-Dec-12 21:24:59

That's great you've had a meeting and they're going to monitor him more closely. You definitely don't sound neurotic, but I totally get why you'd need to question. I just mentioned that as most of my 'mums' were worried about appearing that way.
If anything I was a pretty neurotic childminder!! (Think other minders chatting on benches with a Coffee while I hovered with outstretched arms under a climbing frame grin). It's fair enough assessing the care setting but I was a big believer in assessing each child's capabilities too. Good luck and keep us posted. I'm off to ponder over how much I miss all the wee buggers!!...sad

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 10-Dec-12 21:34:07

Not neurotic, at all.

Actually, to counter my earlier post a little, it does get easier when they get older, as at least when they have accidents they can tell you about what happened, rather than just having someone else's say so.

<voice of someone who could paper the hall with the head bump notes DS brings home from school>

Brawhen Mon 10-Dec-12 21:45:29

I'm glad you've had the meeting. From what you describe, my gut reaction is that they are being over-zealous about calling you to report accidents - especially if most of them aren't even leaving a mark and your DS is not overly upset etc. However, I'd be a bit anxious too - on the basis of what if it's not just over-zealousness.

How experienced are the nursery staff? I'd think it was their job to just be coping with day-to-day childhood accidents.

FWIW, I've had two DC go through day-nursery (each from 6mo to pre-school). One more of a 'physical' child than the other. Even so, I've hardly ever been called during the day about phyisical accidents (actually only once that I remember - and that was a request to take him to A&E as a precaution after hitting head). Not that they weren't having all the usual accidents - there were the normal childhood bruises etc. Usually a bump would be mentioned at pick up, or maybe there would be an accident form at the end of the day, though that's very unusual - would be if there has been blood or need for an ice-pack involved. For example, I remember DC2 split his lip falling against the washbasin - they applied cuddles & ice - DC2 calmed down - they did not tell me until normal end-of-day pick up, and that seemed completely acceptable to me. Major bite mark (drew blood I think) was not notified until pick-up - again I thought this was fine as staff had dealt with it effectively, DC was not traumatised. (DC were well settled and familiar with staff in both cases.) I've had far more calls about DC taken ill during the day, or just being 'not themselves, could you pick up early' kind of things.

cakehappy Mon 10-Dec-12 21:45:57

Thank you again for taking the time to reply smile I tried not to be freaky in the meeting, I was just honest and told them I was upset enpugh to take the baby out of nursery, which really shocked them, I was suprised! But now I hope they do what they say and monitor him a bit closer and I feel a bit better about him being there. I'll let you know how it all goessmile

cakehappy Mon 10-Dec-12 21:54:03

Brawhen- thanks for your thoughts , I've often wished that they didn't call over every little bump but its their policy that any head injury, big or little, the parents are called. And my DS never hurts himself anywhere else! Siggghhhhh....I guess it's better that way though.

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