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'tablet' Incident - Need Advice Please


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Hi all - just needing to seek some advice/reassurance.

 

I work in a village institute where there are obviously other users in when we're not there. Today one of the children found a 'tablet' whilst playing hide and seek. A member of staff was in the room observing their play - the child brought the 'tablet' to her.We were very confident that the child had given it to us directly and so didn't phone the parents. I should have done with hindsight!

We informed them at collection - they took her to A&E!

I have written an incident record and informed various parties such as the caretaker, Chair of Institute Committee and Chair of pre-school committee. Have drawn up action plan to ensure more care by other users and the caretaker. We had completed our daily risk assessment before children arrived and hadn't not seen it. She had found it under a table at the edge of the room.

I have spoken to the parents a number of times tonight - child is home and fine. I think the Father is going to write a formal letter of complaint though although to who I don't know yet.

 

I am quite new to this role and worry that I haven't done something right - I should have rung the parents at the time - I realise that now.

 

What do you think? Am very worried and stressed about the whole thing!

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I feel for you, it must be horrible situation to be in, you have done what you thought was right at the time and im not sure if i would have done things diffrent, but this is a lesson learned for you and your staff, as well as the others using the hall.

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Oh Gwennie, I feel your pain. A similiar thing happened in my setting a long, long time ago - our tablet was imported in a jumble sale handbag and licked by finding child. I have to confess that I panicked! The child was fine, but we informed her parents and all other parents immediately (thought that was better than them hearing via the grapevine). Maybe you might like to draft a note for all parents informing them of incident and your steps to prevent a similiar incident happening again? Don't beat yourself up, you took reasonable preventative steps and (I think) have dealt very promptly with fallout.

 

Posy

PS Glad child is okay

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I feel for you, it must be horrible situation to be in, you have done what you thought was right at the time and im not sure if i would have done things diffrent, but this is a lesson learned for you and your staff, as well as the others using the hall.

 

I didn't want to read and run, but I hope you will be ok, I am not sure I would have done anything differently either, try not to worry, yes with hindsight you probably should have phoned them, but you used your professional judgement at the time dealing with the situation as it was presented to you

 

Clare x

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Oh Gwennie I can feel your distress.

 

As a matter of urgency I would write up everything you have seen and done, and all the conversations you have had with anyone at all in connection with this incident. I'd also ask those staff members involved to write a statement about what they saw and did, too. I would also contact your Early Years advisory team to check whether this incident should be reported to Ofsted - you have to report any accident that happens in your setting which causes a child to be taken to hospital, but I'm not clear whether this sort of incident would come under that description. If this is the kind of thing you need to notify Ofsted of you have a short window to do so.

 

Speak to the parent tomorrow and see how the land lies - if they are going to make a formal complaint they may do so to the chair of the committee, or directly to Ofsted. Check your complaints policy and familiarise yourself with what you need to do. Whether the parent complains to Ofsted or to the committee, and depending on what your policy says, you'll probably need to make an investigation, and report your findings as part of the complaint procedure. It is much better to write these things up quickly after the event because there's less chance anything will get forgotten or missed out.

 

Try not to stress too much - all you can do now is gather the evidence so that if and when a complaint is made you are very sure of what happened, and when. Once the parent calms down and sees their child is not hurt they may decide not to take it further - especially if they see that you have reflected on what happened and have taken steps to ensure that it won't happen again.

 

I hope you get a good night's sleep tonight - don't be too hard on yourself. These things do happen from time to time and hindsight is a wonderful thing. I know from experience that even though you are going through a horrible experience you will get through it, with the support of those around you.

 

Take care, and let us know how things go.

 

Maz

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Thank you for the quick replies.

Great advice about the letter for the parents - so they are clear that we have dealt with it to ensure it doesn't happen again. Thanks.

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Oh Gwennie! what a nightmare!

 

Great advice already given, thankfully the child is unharmed and you've undergone a massive "learning curve" - I hope the parents see that you've reflected on what has happened, amended or instigated procedures where necessary.

 

Good Luck, hope matters get resolved.

 

Nona

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Thanks Maz for the really detailed reply - your experience and knowledge is apparent and just what I needed.

Thank you all for your words of support. I feel I can speak to the parents tomorrow in the knowledge that everything I have done since I didn't phone has been the right thing! Hopefully things will have calmed down and they will see that we have addressed the problem.

PS - It turns out the tablet is a mint!

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Guest woodentop

Gwennie, I know it is easier said than done but please try not to worry. She is ok and that is the main thing.

Your bad experince has given everybody a wake up call.

We all rush around in the morning doing the 101 things that have to be done and always look out for obvious H AND S issues but 1 pill hidden on the side was not easy to see.

when I worked for a committee run Pre school they didnt realise what had to be done before opening the door and would only pay me 15 mins extra to set up. I would be in an hour before and still find it difficult sometimes, especially when checking grass outside for all sorts.

Please try not to get too stressed, as everyone has said write everything down so you can be sure you have the info you need.

take care

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PS - It turns out the tablet is a mint!

Well doesn't that just take the biscuit!

 

Hope you get a good night's sleep ready to face whatever happens tomorrow. Thank you for being so open about what happened to you today - thanks to your honesty I think we'll all be that bit more vigilant tomorrow when we open our settings.

 

I think we can all see exactly how we might find ourselves in very similar situations and done just what you did today. Be kind to yourself won't you?

 

Maz

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Tic tacs have a lot to answer for. one of our children brought them in last week in her handbag. I confiscated them when I saw them as she was sitting there on the mat quite cooly handing them out to her friends - up to that point we had no idea she had them, I doubt even her parents knew she had brought them to pre school with her, but they had obviously given them to her in the first place.

 

As previously said, shared accommodation means we must check vigilantly when we risk assess before the children come in, but something like this could so easily be missed - unfortunately children always seem to find things!

 

A horrible day for you, but so glad it has ended better.

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I really feel for you.

 

We had a 'mistake' at our setting last week, which could potentially have turned out badly, but no one got hurt and the parent was very much of the opinion that 'accidents happen' and she was totally sympathetic and understanding.

 

She even said: 'Why is it that parents apply standards to preschool that they would never expect themselves to achieve at home.'

 

We live in a culture where some parents want to blame someone for every small accident or mistake (except when it's theirs). I'm very sorry that this has happened to you and the parents reacted in this way. The media and government don't help with their scaremongering.

 

Sorry, rant over. Hope it all works out okay, I'm sure you'll be fine.

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Gwennie, hope it all went well today?!

 

I bet you and your staff checked the floor, on your hands and knees, with magnifying glasses .................? :o

 

Nona

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Hi all,

 

Today was our first session back after Wednesday and all went well xD

 

I phoned EYFS Consultants yesterday for advice - they advised phoning Ofsted which I did and made a report with them.

Institute Committee, for once, were very supportive and proactive. The hall was given a thorough clean yesterday and caretaker will clean before each pre-school session.

 

I talked to the parents last night and they were more than happy with the measures we had taken - but had no clue as to the stress and upset that they had caused us.

 

I also sent out a letter to all parents today, giving an overview - and how we have addressed it.

 

All seemed happy.

 

So...am beginning to see all the positives that have come out of this unhappy incident - I have learnt alot and gained valuable experience.

 

A big thank you again for all the support and advice - this truly is a great forum. :o

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Gwennie, thanks for sharing this stressful event with us. I have to be honest, I am not sure I would have done anything differently but thanks to reading this it has made me consider the possibility, we ladies carry tablets around in our handbags etc (stored out of reach), and I now know what I should do in the same circumstances. As has been said, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Hope you are feeling better now.

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Well this is a really good outcome for you Gwennie. Reputations are made and lost during episodes like this when the stress levels go through the roof and the stakes are high. It sounds to me as if you have come through with flying colours - well done for keeping your head and using this incident as an opportunity for reflection and learning.

 

That your parents are happy with how you have handled things speaks volumes, too!

 

Enjoy your weekend and forget about work for a while!

 

Maz

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Fantastic news, Gwennie, and great that the Institute Committee were so supportive and quick to respond.

 

I think we all learned form your experience this week.

 

Breathe a big sigh of relief and enjoy your weekend.

 

Nona

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