My feed

to access all these features

Join the discussion and meet other Mumsnetters on our free online chat forum.


Duke Edinburgh Trip and bacterial infections

17 replies

weeonionetta · 22/06/2023 18:40

dd and her 5 classmates were in a group for their Duke of edinburgh expedition last week. The weather was scorching - the day they left the DOE teacher said he had never taken a group out in such hot conditions but they were to drink plenty, keep a hat on and use sunscreen and they would be ok.
They had a great time - home late Friday feeling proud of managing it all so well in the heat and conditions..

Since then 3 have ended up in hospital.

It started on the saturday with all 6 having high temps and vomiting with cramps and stomach pain. My dd has not been hospitalised but has been v poorly.
The 3 in hospital were on IV Fliuids and antibiotics. The last one was discharged today.

it was a bacterial infection which they think was caught through drinking contaminated water.

School rang me on saturday to see if dd had any water bottles left as they needed to test it as one girl was v v ill. i emailed them on saturday night to say dd was getting worse and emailed again on monday and yesterday. i have rang each day to say dd will not be in. there has been no acknowledgments of emails or calls.
they also know about the others so know it is not isolated.
i am in touch with all the other parents.

the girls got their fresh water supply each night at camp from instructors / teachers. they were told if they needed more through the day to use streams. the girls did ask about water purifying but were told if they choose from fresh bubbling water they would be ok. the girls did have water treatment tablets but based on what they were told - they didnt use them.
dd drank some untreated water on the 2nd day. the others to varying degrees.

Now - i know things happen on such trips and i tend to be quite chilled about accidents etc but i am unsure of the way the school has dealt with this.
They have not been in contact with parents since .
They have not spoken to the girls.
They have not said if they are reviewing / looking at what happened

I am wondering if something like this happened inn your school - how might the school deal with it and what would you expect to happen?

OP posts:
mirages08 · 22/06/2023 18:47

And this ^ is why I'd never let my dc do DofE

Far too many run by unqualified staff

I'd be contacting a solicitor

Huge high safeguarding red flags

Thefrogwife · 22/06/2023 18:48

As a teacher who has led D of E- am baffled they were given that advice about drinking from streams, when there's almost certainly going to be agricultural run off in there...but I've met people involved with D of E, especially outdoor education people, who are much less risk averse than I am, so not totally surprised.

In terms of how they're dealing with it- I wouldn't expect much more right now because there will almost certainly be lawyers involved advising, including advising about communication, and they will be cautious about doing or saying anything further that might come up in a future legal case. Sorry.

mirages08 · 22/06/2023 18:49

I'm not surprised either sadly

Get lawyered up

Dreadful school haven't even asked how your dd is!

LittleMrsPretty · 22/06/2023 18:49

They did communicate with you.

the illness is for Drs to treat not the school.

I hope the school do met anymore kids it’s ok to drink from streams.

LittleMrsPretty · 22/06/2023 18:50

*do not tell

weeonionetta · 22/06/2023 18:51

thanks folks.
i was also gobsmacked as they were advised to top up with untreated water and i asked dd why she didnt go with that we had talked about. she said they were so blase about any risks and said it was fine.
i also dont know if it was treated or untreated water they were given each night by staff. none of the girls know.

OP posts:
dubyalass · 22/06/2023 18:52

"Fresh bubbling water"? What a load of rubbish. For starters even fast-flowing streams can have diseases such as Weil's and liver flukes which are parasites. I would never drink stream water without purifying it. This is really basic stuff, I can't believe they were told it would be OK.

BeethovenNinth · 22/06/2023 18:53

I am a D of E leader and we are ridiculously neurotic about the water the kids drink. We often have them at a campsite or if not, might take water in and if not that we have advised to purify with chlorine tablets and boil.

which area were they in?

personally I do drink out of high mountain streams in Scotland.

mirages08 · 22/06/2023 18:53

Those staff need sacking.
I'm a school governor and am horrified by this
I hope your dd gets well soon

mirages08 · 22/06/2023 18:54

I'd also be asking how many staff are ill?
I assume they drank that water if it was so safe?

weeonionetta · 22/06/2023 18:54

@littlemisspretty - i feel they havent communicated. when they contacted me it was only to ask if dd had water bottles left and could they have them. thye did not inform me of any illness or ask about dd. I said i knew what was happening as i had heard from others.
they didnt call to ask if dd was ok or tell me that others were all ill.

they have not spoken to me since then.
yes DRs treat illness but i am surprised there has been no check in when they know kids are ill??

OP posts:
weeonionetta · 22/06/2023 18:55

It was in the Scottish Glens.

OP posts:
Karatema · 22/06/2023 18:58

Good grief. My DH is BELA qualified and he was telling our DDiL, only last weekend, to get water purifying tablets to ensure they didn't run out of water in this hot weather. He emphasised you can never tell what's in water so never drink stream water without using the tablets.
Irresponsible is the word that comes to mind.

weeonionetta · 22/06/2023 19:04

i should say that the hospital asked the school to contact families to get water for testing as 1 girl was v v ill. that was why they calld - not a welfare check on dd

OP posts:
ErrolTheDragon · 22/06/2023 19:13

That's appallingly irresponsible of whoever told them to drink from streams. A 'fresh bubbling' stream may have a dead sheep in it upstream (this happened to my dm when she was young!), and some Lake District streams are quite badly contaminated with heavy metals from historic mining debris, so even with purifying tablets it's not always a good idea.
DD took a fancy filtering bottle as well as the tablets when they did their wild camping gold in Glen Nevis.

BeethovenNinth · 22/06/2023 19:47

dragon I know a few folk ill from those bottles because they have leaked so they aren’t full proof - sometimes they leak down the side. I wouldn’t fully rely on them

Imissingrid · 22/06/2023 19:57

Is it possible the school haven’t engaged with you due to insurance? Their insurers or LA or trust may have told them not to discuss with parents due to possible litigation.

And being told to drink untreated river water is totally nuts. My late husband was ex army , was a mountain walker and always carried and used water purifying tablets. And we lived in a country far less polluted than Britain.

I hope all the kids are better soon.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.