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Overthinking as I work with safeguarding?

(26 Posts)
squizita Mon 23-May-16 14:48:23

OK for the record I have anxiety AND my job means I'm pretty on it with regards to safeguarding and child protection (albeit with much older kids).

My DD is 20 months, speaks words and some phrases.
She gets little scratches and bruises as she's a little explorer and climbs/runs/crawls into things.
However when she explains, she will say the adult she was with DID it when what she means is they picked her up, kissed her better etc. She doesn't really understand what is being asked. So for example she ran down the hall yesterday, tripped over and there's a little bruise on her knee - she says to DH when he asks her what happen "mummy do it. hurt knee" when of course I picked her up, kissed it better and put a cold flannel on it.

I'm paranoid she's going to either make it sound like I'm an awful parent (possibly ending up with something written down somewhere for many years - knowing how it should be, and the ramifications) but also of course if someone did hurt her she wouldn't be able to clearly tell me?

Am I overthinking?

3rdrockfromthesun Mon 23-May-16 17:39:36

I think people would be more worried if it was in places where there should not be a bruise I.e. On her chest or on her neck iyswim? I think bruises on knees and legs are more normal on an active kid. Also I think professionals would be able to tell if a bruise was from an accident I.e. Falling over or if an adult had inflicted them?

squizita Mon 23-May-16 19:59:35

The thing is were always meant to ask about any bruise usually hidden by clothing.
It's not so much the bruise as her interesting turn of phrase! But then again toddlers must come out with funny things often?

Gizlotsmum Mon 23-May-16 20:02:10

I think all children do that. I am sure that people are trained to recognise the difference. So possibly overthinking..

squizita Mon 23-May-16 20:11:32

Yeah. I'm thinking of the training for my job, which is of course for NT young adults not wee toddlers! Who DO say strange things eg key worker cut my finger off ... no dear she trimmed the edge of your nail as it had a sharp bit.

lougle Mon 23-May-16 20:13:51

It's the location and pattern, rather than presence of bruising. So multiple bruising of, for example, the inner upper arm would very rarely be accidental....more likely from a finger grip.

calamityjam Mon 23-May-16 20:17:18

As other posters have said, it's the location and type of bruising that would concern me as a childcare practitioner. I hear allsorts from toddlers but would never presume that it was a child protection issue without other information.

Ilovewillow Mon 23-May-16 20:32:31

I wouldn't worry people understand childrens phrasing. My son (33 months), says you are hurting me everytime you touch home if he doesn't want to do something e.g. Put a coat on!

squizita Mon 23-May-16 21:19:15

Calamity I am a childcare practitioner and have been for 15 years, with safeguarding responsibilities etc.
In most of my workplaces the default is never to think it's "ok" unless you know it's ok.
But them again my work kids can all talk and walk.

lougle Mon 23-May-16 22:17:03

No, but there's a sensible thought process to follow. I remember clearly when DD1, who has SN, was about 5. She fell over in the hallway. She was always covered in bruises, but this time she landed on the threshold of the outside door and because one leg was forward of the other, it was the inner thigh that took the brunt of the fall. I had only just done my safeguarding training for Governors and DD1 really couldn't speak too well (at special school). I remember writing in her contact book 'you may notice a linear bruise on the inner aspect of DD1's right thigh. This was caused by....'

I think it's natural to worry as parents.

Daisyandbabies Tue 24-May-16 05:55:39

I wouldn't worry about it, surely most/all kids say things like that so unless it's consistent or accompanied by other worrying signs, it's taken with a pinch of salt. When my son started preschool, he told me the teacher had chased him around the room and punched him in the teeth. She clearly hadn't grin

Nectarines Tue 24-May-16 06:20:24

I recently took 2 year old along when the baby had his injections. At the shops afterwards, she told people that her baby was sad because mammy hurt his legs!

Believeitornot Tue 24-May-16 06:22:31

I would suggest it might be worth talking about your anxiety with someone. It might get worse as your child gets older.

squizita Tue 24-May-16 08:41:38

Believe Thanks - when I mentioned I have anxiety, I meant as in the long term medical condition. I had a flare up of post natal anxiety which is now getting better (thankfully) and this worry is really nothing compared to a proper crushing flare up. I'm not new to the condition and know how to monitor it - unfortunately 'officials making an error which causes me to be falsely accused' is one of my unfortunate obsessive thoughts which pop up from time to time.

If this was bad I wouldn't be posting to MN. I'd be crying and then straight to my HC team (or possibly paying as I sometimes do as the NHS is v slow).

squizita Tue 24-May-16 09:51:50

...also (sorry this is my particular soap box - the assumption people with long term MH conditions are always assumed to need further guidance outside of the specific question asked, by 'normal' strangers) if someone started a post with 'I have diabetes/asthma/skin condition etc...' and they're having a niggle/worry which might be something, might not would you advise them to see someone suggesting they are unaware it might get worse? Or would you think that's terribly patronising?

ACubed Tue 24-May-16 11:39:45

I work in a Nursery, in a borough that is particularly tight on safeguarding, and if a child was saying that their parent had caused a bruise, the first thing we would do is raise it with the parents in a non-accusatory way, and if anything needed to be recorded in their file we would let parents know. I think most practitioners are trained not to ignore children saying anything like that, BUT they should also know that young children do make plenty of inaccurate statements, and would weigh it up with any changes in behaviour or wellbeing.
Basically I wouldn't worry at all about this!

squizita Tue 24-May-16 11:49:11

Thanks ACubed grin yeah I think it's slightly different when you have the same safeguarding responsibilities but with kids who know how to talk!

Today she bit me because I am a "tasty chicken" apparently! That'll teach me to fake tan my bingo wings. So I had to warn the nursery staff about that new game (after 50 x repeated "we don't play biting games, it makes people sad and hurty. Gentle games poppet, what do we play?" "Geennnnntttllleee gayme!").

squizita Tue 24-May-16 11:50:42

She also claimed her safe worker cut her finger off yesterday, she meant a loose/long fingernail they noticed of course. So it works both ways, they were at pains to explain!

Believeitornot Tue 24-May-16 13:29:39


Well the fact that you're worrying about this makes me wonder if you will escalate those worries and at what point it is getting out of hand.
And actually if someone knows they have say diabetes, then chances are they're being monitored by a medical professional.

If someone comes along and says that they have anxiety then it would be remiss to not suggest that they speak to someone because, actually, it was not clear from your post that you had already seen professionals.

corythatwas Tue 24-May-16 13:43:39

"if someone started a post with 'I have diabetes/asthma/skin condition etc...' and they're having a niggle/worry which might be something, might not would you advise them to see someone suggesting they are unaware it might get worse? Or would you think that's terribly patronising?"

We often have posters advising other posters to see their doctor or even go to A&E for all sorts of physical conditions including flare-ups of known chronic conditions; I see nothing patronising about it. "I have asthma and have been really out of breath recently, can't help thinking about it"- "well, if I were you I would pop down to the asthma nurse and get it looked at"- sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Even known conditions change, sometimes you need a change in treatment or whatever, nothing shameful about that, is there?

Believeitornot Tue 24-May-16 16:51:49

Yes cory I think you said it better than me.

I felt like the OP was calling me patronising which was a little uncalled for. I've seen people who's anxiety has had a detrimental impact on their DCs despite their best efforts to hide it.

squizita Tue 24-May-16 22:02:17

Believe How else would I know I had a medical condition then?

Unfortunately there is a tendency - especially on forums like mumsnet, for people to (1) weigh in and assume having a mhard condition = naive and no self awareness and (2) play amateur psychiatrist and try to figure it all out.

It happens all the time. People who manage their condition and live well with it (I survived recurrent mc and a cancer scare with mine and no breakdowns, so have pretty good evidence that between me and my dr we can manage it) don't exist in the public narrative in the same way as people with physical conditions do.
No one ever talks about my auto immune condition in the same way - and like it or not there is a subtle difference in the way people talk to people about them.

Apologies if you feel upset about my response ... but again: is it OK to say "oh no you're wrong, it's not an issue and it is ok"? Wold this be said to someone with another condition (say a disability - as lifelong mh can be) who felt patronised or would it feel less comfortable to explain away their feelings to them? If it helps frame is away from the 'crazy anxious lady imagining things' Mind and Time To Change both have stuff about this and there have been numerous studies on how if a GP knows a patient woman has mh issues they typically take longer to diagnose physical illnesses as they assume flaws in reporting of symptoms (especially if the issue is gynecological interestingly).

Anyway sorry, this is completely off topic.

squizita Tue 24-May-16 22:04:56

Oh and in terms of awareness of detrimental effects - I work with families including vulnerable ones so am well aware of these issues. It's likely you've also seen many very happy, functional families where a parent is managing their mh constantly so it doesn't affect anyone.

Believeitornot Wed 25-May-16 06:22:56

And how was I to know any of that from reading your op?

I find you quite rude!

lougle Sat 28-May-16 09:49:16

squizita there is a difference and that's because the whole point of an anxiety disorder is that you can't rationalise your anxiety, or you wouldn't have an anxiety disorder in the first place.

Taking your diabetes example, someone who came and said 'I'm a bit worried I feel wobbly' would be advised to take their blood sugar. If they went on to say 'oh but I think this feeling is quite unrelated to my diabetes' people may urge them to see their diabetes nurse. Because as an outsider, it's quite obvious that the symptom points to hypoglycaemia. It's a bit of a rubbish example, but my point is that people who are outside of a situation can see things more closely sometimes.

You have a background in safeguarding but your reaction to this situation is quite a way beyond proportionate. You may not see it. You may choose to ignore it. But I think it's worth telling you that this is not a normal response.

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