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AAAAAGH!!!! :oxDxD :rolleyes:

We went fishing for tadpoles today, the student was helping the 3yr old with the net, I had a 19mth old kneeling next to me and next to her was another 3yr old. As the three yr old stood up to move she lost her balance and steadied herself by putting her hand on the 19mth old who was pushed head first into the pond and scooped out immediately by me. :( :unsure: :(

The trip is risk assessed, i've been doing it for years and am extremely vigilant. I've filled in my incident book and have told the parents - a bit upset, as you would be - and I feel beside myself.

As far as assessing risks go, do i now assess that this is too risky, or that the risk is minimal and worthwhile for the experience. I know that she would have always been by my side but I imagined that this would prevent her from falling in, my reactions are pretty quick but i just wasn't quick enough. There is a nursery just down the road from me who visit the pond too with ratio's of 2 - 10, so my ratios were much smaller.

I've always felt that children need challenging, stimulating first hand experiences that enable them to learn about risk but now I've had a child fall in a pond :(;) :wacko: I've got the fear a bit

with regards to reviewing my risk assessment - do you write a report on the incident for your risk assessment file and show how you altered it after the incident - although i really don't think i could have done things differently to prevent it from happening :ph34r:

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oh bless you how awful...

 

if you feel this is a worthwhile trip that the children get a lot out of - continue - as you say in your risk assesment dfo a report of the incident and reflect upon how you can make it safer or be more vigilent - if you cant so be it - accidents happen !!!!

:o

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my reactions are pretty quick but i just wasn't quick enough.

 

Your reactions were quick enough! You pulled the child out of the water straight away and she came to no harm. Any setting with a water tray runs the risk of a child climbing on a chair and falling in it. The important thing is that you stayed close enough to keep her safe and would never leave her side.

 

Those children's lives are enriched by the lovely experiences you planned for them. Have you thought about asking the parents whether they are happy for you to carry on? I'd be telling you to keep going if my child was part of the group.

 

Risk assessments are about managing risks - not eliminating them.

 

Don't let this stop you continuing to do a good job!

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Oh dear dcn - what an awful experience. But how grateful must your parents be that you are so vigilant and reacted so quickly? You should congratulate yourself on a job well done.

 

When you reflect on what happened, if you spot a chink in your risk assessment that you hadn't considered then you can adapt your plans accordingly. If, as is more likely, you decide it was a freak accident that was beyond your control, then you'd need to think about whether it is an acceptable risk to take. My guess is that your confidence will be shaken for a time, but perhaps in the end you'll conclude that the benefits of the outing will outweigh the risk.

 

How have your parents reacted? Obviously if they tell you they don't want their children going on such a trip again then the decision will be made for you - but as you say, your ratios are excellent and there wasn't really anything you could have done to prevent this kind of accident. You reacted swiftly and prevented the child coming to harm. I honestly think parents will focus on the fantastic learning opportunities you offer and the excellent care you provide.

 

Write your report into the incident to see if you can highlight any changes necessary, and then do your best to put it behind you. If nothing else your children will have developed a healthy respect for water and the need to be careful will have been reinforced in their minds.

 

Chin up, dcn. You're doing a fantastic job - try not to let things out of proportion and fret about what might have happened. You did your job extremely well and no lasting harm was done.

 

Maz

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There is a nursery just down the road from me who visit the pond too with ratio's of 2 - 10, so my ratios were much smaller.
Am I the only one who spotted this?

 

It sounds like it was one of those things that you couldn't avoid.

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Am I the only one who spotted this?

No Wendles - I spotted it too but chose to ignore! I would not consider doing a trip like this with a ratio like that! Especially as some of the children are probably no older than dcn's oldest children! Wonder what their risk assessment looks like? :o

 

Maz

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oh poor you - please dont beat yourself up about it - you were vigilant - you pulled the child out - you have spoken to the parents - you have risk assessed it and will now review your proceedures - it could happen to any of us .

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dcn,

 

sorry to hear what happened to you today, well done for acting so quickly and getting the child out. I hope this hasn't knocked your confidence too much and you carry on providing wonderful opportunities for the children in your care, mrsW.x

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Thanks everyone for your responses - i really appreciate them. I think it's a good idea to have a further chat with the parents about whether to continue with the trips.

it was my new students first day in placement as well today so goodness knows what she must be thinking!!

thanks again

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it's natural that you should feel upset by this but it seems to me your risk assessment of providing appropriate staffing ratios enabled you to deal with this frightening situation well. Accidents do happen, it is often how abilty to deal with them that shows our strength. Write a report, reflect on what happened so see if you could have done anything differently, show the parents to let them know you take the matter seriously but as I suspect might be the case you couldn't have done anything differently. Perhaps ask another practitoner to run a friendly critical eye over your risk assessment to be doubly sure.

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Could you use reins as that might have helped or is that not allowed?

 

I think even had she been on reins it would have happened. I did consider this - even though i've always been a bit anti reins as I don't think it teaches young children to respond to your voice

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it's natural that you should feel upset by this but it seems to me your risk assessment of providing appropriate staffing ratios enabled you to deal with this frightening situation well. Accidents do happen, it is often how abilty to deal with them that shows our strength. Write a report, reflect on what happened so see if you could have done anything differently, show the parents to let them know you take the matter seriously but as I suspect might be the case you couldn't have done anything differently. Perhaps ask another practitoner to run a friendly critical eye over your risk assessment to be doubly sure.

 

I've used the ncma accident/incident book to record what happened briefly. But I think that would be really good idea to write a more in depth account to parents to show how seriously i've taken it, I'll include a copy of my risk assessment for that trip and thne they can make an informed decision as to whether to allow her to be included in the trip in future

thankyou for you for all your thoughtful replies

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What an awful shock for you, I can understand why it has shaken you! :o However, as others have said it did not turn out to be serious so don't beat yourself up about it too much.

 

It is worth thinking about what risk assessments are and why we do them. It is about identifying hazards (not risks xD ) and minimising the risk (likelihood) of it happening. As someone else has pointed out, it is not about eliminating the hazard. This is unrealistic and also not desirable as none of us would be able to do anything at that point! :( If the hazard is high (and death is categorised as high :( ) then we have to find ways to ensure that the risk of it happening is extremely low. In your case you had good ratios and the children were constantly watched and supervised. You would also need to think about how steep the sides are, how slippery the area around the pond or what tripping hazards there are, the depth of the pond and how easily an adult would be able to fish a child out should they inadvertently fall in. I am assuming that none of these were a problem which was why you were able to pull the child out immediately. At this point you have fulfilled all the criteria of a risk assessment and your very good procedures in light of it averted a much worse scenario which is what risk assessment is all about. :(

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Hi dcn - wonderful advice given already so nothing to add really - just wanted to give you some 'moral support' really.

 

Seems to me that you had done everything right and that this was just an unfortunate accident - all part of life really.

 

When my youngest son was about 18 months he managed to fall into a pond even though he was surrounded by adults - this resulted in me, my husband, my dad and my brother all jumping in (we could have scooped in out from the side - major overeaction!) so lots of very wet people but no harm done.

 

Chin up!

 

Sunnyday

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Beau's comments reminded me of the risk assessment we all completed on a Forest School activity recently. The risk being open water, short term action is as follows:

 

  • Assess ability to get out of water ie steep banks, if not avoid
  • Set boundaries using flags, mark out of bounds (Forest School method of setting boundaries not applicable to toddlers I would say)
  • Appropriate staff ratios
  • First-aid trained staff
  • Verbal instruction
  • Staff member designated to watch the area
  • Kit bag should include a throw line


Could you think about the last point - a throw line and adapt for your circumstances (ie reins??)

 

The instructor made the point that with water it is the ability to get out of it which is important. He suggeted that open water having carried out the above action, could be a low risk although on the high end of low ie on a scale of 1-5 it might be 5.

 

Hope that helps.

 

I should add that he said the risk assessment has to be 'sufficient not perfect' to help us plan for a good day rather than hope for a good day, the level of risk must be brought down to low for us to go on the outing etc.

 

He pointed out that most of us do much more than is required of us by law - but the most important thing is that we write it down - the risk assessment that is to show that we have considered the risks and taken sufficient action.

Edited by Deb
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Oh dcn, I do feel for you!

 

You've had great support and advcie already and hope you feel calmer and more confident today?

 

You're doing a great job and providing lots of lovely experiences for the children in your care, you're vigilant and had risk assessed the activity - it just goes to show that accidents DO happen. You reacted quickly and appropriately and no harm was done.

 

I know that none of this will helo you feel better about it - YET! One day you will look back and smile when you recall the day you went to the pond!

 

Nona

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