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Unwell Child - what would you do?

(41 Posts)
Alpacamabags Tue 05-Nov-19 21:41:49

4 years old. Unexpected diarrhoea. On clothing, legs, hands and back of top. Very noticable and smelly not to mention uncomfortable.
Supported to clean and change clothes by teacher. (other staff in earshot)

Now being told this was the wrong thing to do. Should have been left until parent arrived.
If that was my child left like that I'd be devestated. Uncomfortable, embarrassing and clearly unwell.
I understand that teachers cant be forced to change children but in this instance was I wrong?
Is there any legislation (Scotland) to clarify?
School has no policy for intimate care.
Advice greatly appreciate.

OP’s posts: |
LoyaltyBonus Tue 05-Nov-19 21:47:26

Who's telling you you were wrong? What does the policy say? It can't be that unusual if you're dealing with 4yos.

I don't work in EYFS but my DS2 went through a phase of soiling. Initially the school changed him and I was very grateful for it but they they started insisting that "we" did it. Thankfully my Dad lived near the school and went when necessary. I've no idea what I was supposed to do if that wasn't the case.

Alpacamabags Tue 05-Nov-19 21:49:31

Leadership team. We dont have a policy for it. This is a one off for this child. Would be equivalent to reception in England.

OP’s posts: |
justanothernameonthewall Tue 05-Nov-19 21:50:52

I'm a childminder in Scotland, so not school setting but childcare setting. I would support a child of any age that had this happen because, first and foremost, I have a duty of care to that child. I would think that not leaving them in that state would come under that!

Alpacamabags Tue 05-Nov-19 21:53:10

That's exactly my viewpoint. Its not something anyone wants to do but surely the child has the right to be safe and clean! What if parents were 30mins away? To be honest I'm happy with the decision I made. Was just hoping there might be some guidance out there i could use to fight my corner.

OP’s posts: |
mynameisMrG Tue 05-Nov-19 21:53:30

I don’t know about Scotland as it’s been a while since I worked there, but I thought if the school didn’t have an intimate care policy don’t they automatically refer to the local authorities policy? I might be wrong there but this is a wake up call to leadership that they should have one. And no I don’t think you were wrong

Halo1234 Tue 05-Nov-19 21:53:38

Any reasonable person would have did the same as you for a 4 year old in that circumstance. They only reason I wont would be if the child didnt want me too. But I think you did the right thing and what anyone would want their childs teacher to do. For the purpose of the worlds gone mad and nobody is trustworthy anymore.....if it happend again you could maybe phone a parent quickly for verbal consent to do it. Or take a second adult with you as a whitness (but I dont thin you should have to do that I would just do it because of the world we live in if that makes sense).

UnderTheSleepingBaby Tue 05-Nov-19 21:55:27

Your school is wrong not to have a clear policy. My son has just started school in England and I was given the option on a form when he started as to whether I would like staff to help him clean up and change if he had an accident. In my opinion you were absolutely right, they are barely older than nursery children and shouldn't be left like that when there is a trusted adult able to help, how awful would it be to just stand there saying "sorry, you'll have to stay like that until your mum gets here". How ridiculous!

funmummy48 Tue 05-Nov-19 21:56:24

I work in EYFS over the lunch period and would (and have) helped and sorted a soiled child to change. Parents are often at work and if not, aren't necessarily within easy reach of the school and it's horrible to leave a child sat in their own mess. As a parent, I'd want my child to be cared for.

PeopleWhoRun Tue 05-Nov-19 21:56:28

I'd have done the same as you.

Also if it were my child, I'd be grateful that someone did that. I'd be absolutely furious if they were left.

LoyaltyBonus Tue 05-Nov-19 21:56:30

There should be a policy and if there's not then the Leadership are at fault for not providing proper guidance!

Alpacamabags Tue 05-Nov-19 22:00:09

Thank you everyone. I feel much better now knowing that you would have done the same. I'll definitely flag up the lack of policy.
Also like the idea of trying a quick call for consent first but to be honest if no response I'd still do it anyway

OP’s posts: |
Lindy2 Tue 05-Nov-19 22:00:11

The poor child needed help to be clean and comfortable again. You did the right thing.

A policy saying that a child should be left uncomfortable and embarrassed in soiled clothing would be pretty hard to justify wouldn't it.

Blackdog19 Tue 05-Nov-19 22:03:47

I think you did the right thing and there should be an appropriate policy in place. I’d be upset if my child was left in that state.

PeopleWhoRun Tue 05-Nov-19 22:06:53

Been thinking about this. A policy is definitely needed. But what argument can they possibly have to leave the child in that state?!
Leaving them is neglectful, uncomfortable, potentially shaming the child and being the beginning of poor mental health. An infection risk to all staff and pupils.
This is making me mad, I want to go in and argue the case on your behalf OP grin

LoyaltyBonus Tue 05-Nov-19 22:08:17

Yes, why do they think you did the wrong thing OP?

loutypips Tue 05-Nov-19 22:08:29

https://www.eric.org.uk/help-at-school-faqs

Read #4

Surely the school should have a toileting policy?!? I know one of the schools I volunteered in expected parents to come in to clean up the child as the teachers would refuse.

guineapig1 Tue 05-Nov-19 22:11:48

Another who agrees that you did the right thing as there was no specific policy in place (though there should be). This happened to my reception age DC2 recently and I was so grateful to the staff that helped clean him up and change him and kept him comfortable until MIL could get there to collect him.

Frankly a world where a (presumably DBS checked) member of school staff is criticised for helping a child who is unwell feel more comfy is a world gone mad!

raspberryk Tue 05-Nov-19 22:13:46

I have also signed a form to authorise help in those situations, can't imagine not consenting to that tbh.
You did the right thing.

strawberrie Tue 05-Nov-19 22:14:30

Practically; where is a small child, in soiled clothing and potentially contaminated hands, supposed to wait while a parent is summoned? Or even while telephone consent is obtained?

I think you did the right thing. As a parent I would be enormously grateful that you had shown such compassion (because dealing with bodily emissions from a child you’re not biologically related to is hard). As a school volunteer I would struggle with the notion of a child having to remain in such a state for a moment longer than necessary.

MrsAgassi Tue 05-Nov-19 22:21:14

What parent in their right mind would say no to their child receiving help if telephones about this situation?

There’s no way a child should be left in soiled clothing, it would be wrong for many reasons. They may not have a policy but surely by telling you that your actions weren’t correct they are suggesting that their policy would be to do just that?

TokyoSushi Tue 05-Nov-19 22:26:45

Good grief, you definitely did the right thing. Imagine your 4 year old left like that until you arrived which could be more than half an hour.

It was the right and kind thing to do.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 05-Nov-19 22:31:01

I was on a thread a couple of months ago and a poster was adamant that in Scotland, or at least I think in Glasgow, it would not be acceptable for her to provide intimate care, as this should be done by trained staff only. She didn't reference any legislation, but she was clear that the guidance was different to that in England.

Alpacamabags Wed 06-Nov-19 06:50:46

Yes this is the difficulty. It's definitely not in a teacher's remit but any sensible person would realise that that just means day to day toileting on a regular basis. I just don't understand how any human being could refuse to help a child in that state.
I was told I should have phoned the parent. I'm assuming that would have meant sitting with the child in a toilet until she got there.
Surely it's actually quicker, more compassionate and more hygienic to spend 10 minutes cleaning the child up?
I certainly don't love doing that but if it was my child I would be eternally grateful that someone did.

OP’s posts: |
Corneliawildthing Sat 09-Nov-19 12:17:44

Our school doesn't have an actual policy. I have a child who never asks out to the toilet but soils himself on an almost daily basis. I have to phone the office and 2 PSAs come and sort him out.
No teacher in our school would ever deal with this sort of thing

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