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Nanny gave batteries to baby to play

(32 Posts)
Catsit Tue 05-Feb-13 23:43:03

I am working from home. I heard my son (13 months) crying for quite a while. I went into the bedroom. He was semi attached sitting in his pram facing the wall. His nanny sitting on the bed reading facebook on her phone while having one hand on the pram to try to rock him to sleep. I didn't comment on her activity and said - if he doesn't want to sleep anymore (he used to sleep up to three hours in the morning - now only one to two), perhaps you play with him. She said ok - took him - went with him into the kitchen dinner, sat him on the floor and put a box of batteries in front of him. Should I fire her?

Vijac Tue 05-Feb-13 23:45:43

Yes. Batteries may or may not be dangerous but as a nanny she should know better and make more effort. Also, if that is the way she behaves when you are in the house....

Catsit Tue 05-Feb-13 23:53:03

Thank you - you made two valid points.

mmmmsleep Tue 05-Feb-13 23:58:29

Yes that's terrifying. She cannot be trusted.

Vijac Wed 06-Feb-13 00:00:14

Plus, I think the way she was behaving with trying to get your son to sleep sounds horrid. I do read my phone during the day sometimes but not whilst my son (15months) is crying. Plus I'm not bring paid for it.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 06-Feb-13 00:03:35

She doesn't sound great tbh. I'm not sure if you can fire her though, what does your contract say about gross misconduct? I suppose if she was watching him very closely and sitting with him, then the batteries wouldn't have been a danger to him (although obviously not a good toy for a 13 month old!). I think a written warning at least.

catladycourtney1 Wed 06-Feb-13 00:06:28

If she'll behave like that when she knows you're watching her then I dread to think what she's like when you're not.

Also as a nanny, she's being paid to provide a better standard of care and attention for your child than you can during the time that you are working - so for her to be so distracted and lazy about it shows she's not doing her job. She has her spare time to piss about on her phone.

Catsit Wed 06-Feb-13 00:09:41

I will have a serious conversation with her. At the moment when it happened I wasn't able to say anything besides that batteries can be danagerous, but I was very upset and worried. Thanks a lot.

annh Wed 06-Feb-13 09:15:15

Is this serious? You presumably have a house filled with toys for your child, why on earth did the nanny think a box of batteries was an appropriate toy? It's not as if she was out somewhere and trying to improvise toys from whatever was available in e.g. a waiting room. Even then, batteries are not suitable.

How long has the nanny been with you? Is this the only time you have been unhappy with her work? Do you normally work from home so can keep an eye on what else is going on?

Scootee Wed 06-Feb-13 09:25:14

There is no way I would ever leave a child with a nanny who gave batteries as a toy. Whatever the legalities of getting rid of her, she must never be unattended with your child ever again.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 06-Feb-13 10:15:55

If you've got a 'negligence/endangering the children' clause in your contract I would think you'd be covered if the nanny decided to pursue you for unfair dismissal. I'm not sure most nannies would want to go into a tribunal saying: Well, yes, I did give a child a box of batteries to play with BUT I WAS RIGHT THERE at the time. FFS.

sydlexic Wed 06-Feb-13 10:26:50

Put your tongue on a battery and it gives a small shock which feels awful. They are a choking hazard. If the nanny does not seem to be engaged with the child or put it's needs first then I would fire her.

ReetPetit Wed 06-Feb-13 12:17:30

if this is a serious post,then it sounds like she wants to lose the job!! no one of sane mind would give a 13mth toddler a box of batteries - is this real? hmm

annh Wed 06-Feb-13 14:39:09

I've been thinking about this, I think it's a wind-up. The baby was apparently in his pram (why was he sleeping in a pram in his own home, does he not have a cot to nap in?) and was apparently "semi-attached" - semi-attached to what? Reality? No-one would strap a 13 month old into a pram in their own home for their daily nap surely?

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 06-Feb-13 14:46:40

I don't whether it's a wind-up or not, but my DC's sometimes nap in the pram at home. Main reasons are; 1) We've just come in and they're falling asleep, don't want to get them out, take them upstairs etc as it will wake them up. 2) We need to go somewhere before the time they would normally wak-up and I don't want to wake them up early so settle them in the pram to start with.

I think the batteries as a toy bit is more unusual than the pram nap tbh!

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 06-Feb-13 14:50:40

she gave your child batteries to play with?? shock seriously??

any chance they had fallen out of a toy?

'blondes grasps at straws'

very weird behaviour - though the rocking in a pram not so, children do sometimes cry and play up 'sense' their parents are about and not want to sleep, so maybe easier to get to sleep rocking (bad habit anyway tbh) rather then put in cot

yes she was on her phone, but he wasnt neglected in the pram

ZuleikaD Wed 06-Feb-13 17:20:50

I don't know what voltage they were but you should know that it can only take 9V to stop the heart - ie touching your tongue to the end of a D size battery.

Lostonthemoors Wed 06-Feb-13 18:18:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

botandhothered Wed 06-Feb-13 18:23:41

What were her references like?
I presume you checked them and that she has prior experience? What qualifications does she have?
Does she have a paediatric first aid cert? If not, why not?
What questions did you ask her at interview?
Have you employed a nanny without experience/ glowing references/ qualifications?
I expect she is very cheap?

LynetteScavo Wed 06-Feb-13 18:28:17

A pram in the bedroom, and a box of batteries for a 13 month old.


notnagging Wed 06-Feb-13 18:39:25

Yes definitely what a dunce! I can't stand people being on their phones when they're meant to be playing with babies. It's a deal breaker for me with nurseries.

MmeLindor Wed 06-Feb-13 18:51:31

Why would anyone give a child batteries to play with? Are you sure?

minderjinx Wed 06-Feb-13 19:49:35

I'm not suggesting giving batteries to a baby is a good idea, but unless it was one of the old D type cells with both terminals at one end, he would have to get the entire battery in his mouth to make a circuit and get any kind of shock. The commonly used AA or AAA bateries which would conceivably fit entirely in a baby's mouth are only one and a half volts, nowhere near the nine volts mentioned above. Surely no-one would let any child play with battery powered toys if the batteries might really stop their hearts if put in the mouth.

Mrscupcake23 Wed 06-Feb-13 20:01:25

You are right minder jinx never heard I'd a baby getting a shock from a battery.
Think the whole thread doesn't add up tbh.

botandhothered Wed 06-Feb-13 20:33:58

Batteries are a choking hazard.
It never crossed my mind that they may get a shock, though they have a tendancy to leak, especially if chewed.
Anyone in their right mind wouldn't give a child a battery to play with.

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