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Sad Ending


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feeling rather wobbly tonight after a great half term at my new school, everything going ok and then in the last hour a child slips on my lovely new bricks and splits her head open. I feel so guilty as I wasn't stanbding there at the time but trying to sort out 2 other children who had just had a punch up. All the staff were in the room and I was just about to go over to the bricks. Now it's all got to be reassessed and I'm so worried that I will be deemed incompetant. In my last observation my mentor said about H & S with the bricks, they are the big blocks from community playthings, and since then I have let the children play withy them while I sat with them. They know they can only build them as high as they are and only have them 2 high if they are standing on them. The manufacturers sate they should be supervised at all times so should they wait until I am sat with them or does that mean being nearby? I have had such an awful time in my NQT year and this is my last term. I just can't believe it! Any adice would be welcome. I feel awful about this poor child and so guilty. :o

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Hi there,

 

Just thought I would reply. Sorry that you've had a bad day My thought on the matter are that all children have accidents, and thats all it was an accident. You ask around you're adult friends and I bet there are very few who didn't at some stage have a visit to the hospital as a result of an accident that they had as a child (or adult at that, i'm very clumsy). You are bound to question your own practice it's only natural but as we all know you can not be with all children all of the time, neither can we wrap them in cotton wool. Please please try not to worry about this and don't let it ruin your half term.

 

Take Care

 

Rapunzel x

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I'm always posting on here feeling guilty about one thing or another and I always feel comforted by supportive replies so I hope I can make you feel better too.

Just remember a child can slip and split their head on anything - either in a setting, at home with parents or at the park.

These things happen and sometimes all the supervision in the world can't prevent them.

Try to enjoy your break - at least her bump/cut will have gone by the time you get back :o

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I must say that every single time we get out our community playthings bricks, some child always manages to hurt another with them (accidentally I might add!!!), and we always have a member of staff close at hand, yet without us holding and moving every brick and plank with every child (which is of course not the idea) we can't stop these things happening.

 

I really really feel so sorry for you, as frankly what has happened to you today is exactly what I fear every time we get the things out. I really wish I had never bought them, which is tragic as the kids love them and do get fantastic play experiences with them, but I just dread the inevitable bumps, bruises tears or worse.....

 

Just remember, that the guilt you feel is a sign that you are a good practitioner. If you were not, you wouldn't care and wouldn't feel so bad.

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What an awful last day. But children do have accidents and it's always unpleasant when they do- everyone questions 'what if?' What you need to do is be professional and say 'how can I prevent it happening again?

Be positive, be critical.

We have the big CP blocks out, and the children are rarely supervised on a 'one adult sitting with them basis' - in fact we find it's one of a our more stable activities!!!

 

Try not to let it ruin your break - easier said than done I know.

 

xxxxxxxxxx

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We also have the big blocks and there have been accidents on them but children also fall over nothing and hit their head on the playground - we cant take that away. Unfortunately no matter how vigilant you are, accidents do happen. Try not to let it spoil your well earned break and accept that these things happen.

On a personal note, I have had 2 trips to A&E this week with my own children who have had accidents at school/home. They were not deliberate, nobody was to blame and they were both unavoidable. I have 4 boys so I am resigned to doing my fair share of time in the hospital waiting room!!!!

 

Best wishes

Sally x

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what bad luck :o we have the CP blocks outside (in an area free from other equipment) as part of our continuous provision and (touch wood) have never had an accident yet in 4 years. Try not to take it to heart as accidents do happen, which is why they are called 'accidents' not 'deliberate's'. All play has an element of risk attached which is essential for children to experience to develop their skills and abilities. Continue to do your risk assessments making any necessary adjustments but remember they are risk assessments, not 'risk preventions' xxx Enjoy your half term xxx

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Thankyou so much to everyone. It's all I've been thinking about since I got home and still feel tearful trying to work out what i could have done to prevent it. Of course everyone here is absolutely right, these things happen all the time and I feel reassured that alot of you don't closely supervise children all the time. My afternoon session children are really boisterous so perhaps I should have anticipated it sooner. I think it is a very good idea to think about how I can prevent it happening again which of course I was beginning to do but sometimes you need to have some tell you that's what it is. I have taken out the ramp blocks of which there are 2 and will remodel/ teach how to build stable structures again. They are on offer all the time so do you think I should change that and have them away and get them out when they are planned in? Just think that is a shame as they need to have lots of practise with them. On a positive note, I have had a chat on the phone to the child who got hurt and she was very bubbly and happy about being so brave at the hospital so I do feel less worried about her now.

Thank you for all the brilliant support on here as usual. Everyone really gives me a lift. :o

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Glad to hear youre feeling a bit less worse!

Accidents happen as you are aware and you can not prevent all of them, even had you been close at hand you can not ensure that this would not have happened.

 

Your risk assessment is that you will re-teach and model use.

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Two children at my setting had accidents involving a broken wrist at my setting within the same half term, so I know how you're feeling. The reality is that unless you cover them in bubble wrap from head to toe, you are unlikely to prevent every accident from happening. By all means have a look at your risk assessment and see if there is more work to be done with the children so they are safe when playing with the blocks, but please don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes accidents happen - and it was an accident.

 

Now that you've reassured yourself that the child is fine, I hope you can have a good rest over half term.

 

Maz

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Hi Kathy, I cant add much more about accidents, wise words from everyone else.

 

Obviously the school have to investigate, its their job to, so I'm sure you have already filled in the necessary paperwork for this accident, recalling all the events as you remember them?

 

In terms of your NQT year, an incident like this should not affect the outcome of that. What your mentor/HT will be looking for is not that an accident happened, but how you managed and dealt with it, if you followed school procedure (and if for any reason you didn't that you would know what to do next time), how you managed the child, the other children and the parent (if it was you that need to inform them); that you have considered what (if anything) you can do to add to your risk assessment, but without taking the 'well we wont use them approach'. These things are all part of your development as a teacher, OK its happened in your NQT year, it could easily have happened another year.

 

I had a very similar incident in my 'probationary' as it was called then, year. A child fell and split their head open on the corner of a table (we didn't worry about corners in those days). I was alone in a class of 30! I remember it as if very clearly, but I learned a lot from that incident, about myself, my ability (or not!) to stay calm in a crisis; my ability to reassure other children and deal with the first aid, stay focused on the task in hand etc etc.

 

I hope you are feeling much better about it today.

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Nothing new to add, but just wanted to agree with what everyone else on here has said. Accidents do happen, it's not your fault, both you and the child will learn from the experience, don't blame yourself and ruin your half term by worrying over it.

 

Virtual (hug).

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You have no reason to feel guilty, I'm sure you offered reassurance to the child and acted responsibly.

 

As everyone else has said accidents happen.

 

Over the years children in my class have had many including

- a broken foot from a fall from the ladder in PE ( whinch I was standing near, and I said he'd be fine after applying a cold compress!)

- large cut and quite a few stitches to the head from slipping and hitting head on the corner of the painting easel we think !(never did work out exactly how the child gained such an impressive cut even though a member of staff was next to her when she fell!)

- Many bumped heads including a rush to hospital with concusion for one child who fell walking on the flat playground!

 

Just as the child in your class, these were all accidents that still would have happened regardless of the level of supervision or risk assessment. Personally I wouldn't remove any of the bricks or limit their use to when an adult can be there. There will have no doubt been many successful and enjoyable building projects involving a large number of children developing many skills covering all areas of development, over the last half term and this one accident is just that - one child out of many. I'm sure she will be eager to build again on her return to school after half term.

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oh thank you all so much. I feel so relieved hearing all your experiences and after some reflection (the 'in' word I know) I think it would/ could have happened even if I had been right next to her. My initial reaction is to put the blocks away especially as my TA said it was an accident waiting to happen and she never liked them anyway. But I do believe children need to learn to take risks and learn about how to keep themselves safe as well as all the fantastic creativity the equipment promotes and developing all those large motor skills that just don't happen with plastic bricks. I do have some very tricky boys though and I think I need to reteach how to use them, taking a few of the planks and ramps away for a while but also I need to good programme of PSE activities which will help them to play together in a more effective way. I hce tried the EYFS SEAL but I just can't get on with it so any ideas would be welcome. In the meantime I am a bit wary of our H & S officer who isn't a teacher so she may decide I have to stop using the blocks. Not sure what to do about that. Still I am going to have a bit of a rest over the holiday and get some good ideas for next term. :o

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