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I'm working from home today and just had a phone call from my deputy asking me what to do. A 4 year old child was busy playing outside and wet himself. He was very anxious that the member of staff did not tell his Dad that he wet himself and asked the staff member to say his clothes got wet in wet play, which children have done a lot of recently.


I have advised the member of staff to take the father to one side before he collects the child to explain that the child was very anxious about having wet himself and that we have reassured him that accidents happen when children are busy playing and Daddy won't be cross (we haven't actually said that to the child).


Is this the right thing to do?


It would be the easiest thing in the world for us to simply say that the clothes are wet from water play, the staff member has rinsed the clothes through, we only have this child for another week, but in the longer term is my initial thoughts the best course of action for this child?


We have no specific concerns about this child but this is not the first time the child has shown anxiety about dirty clothes (through playing).


Your thoughts please.

Edited by Deb
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Depends on what your deputy said in response to the childs request. If she said ok I wont tell, then she cant. The child needs to know he can trust adults. If she didnt agree then I personnaly still probably wouldnt say anything, although you know this family best.

If this child gets distressed when dirty, theres no need to add to it. He's going to get into trouble tomorrow or Saturday or whenever. I had an aunt just like it!



I was always amazed if my 2 were clean :o

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A diificult one, but i would be more concerned why the child didn't want his Father to know. As we know accidents do happen, especially if they are thoroughly engrossed in their play and just leave it too late to get to the toilet.


But a gentle oh dear, don't forget next time when you think you need to go you must do so straight away so as not to have an accident.


Surely you have to tell the collecting parent to give them the wet clothes to wash and the child needs to also know that its better to be honest than to fib. :o

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It would concern me that the child is so worried about his dad knowing and I would want to approach dad and watch his reaction once told-obviously this would be done very discreetly so as not to upset the child. If it came out at a later date from the child that he had wet himself and you kept it from the parent, then that could cause repercussions and make you look negligent. Even though you only have the child for one more week surely this is a safeguarding issue that needs to be passed on to school/next setting if you have a concern that something is not quite right.


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Hi everyone


Thanks for your thoughts. The staff member took my advice and told Dad quietly that the child had had an accident and that he was anxious about telling him. Dad tutted and huffed a bit when the staff member told him.


I can only hope it was the right thing to do and have recorded the incident. I felt on balance it was better to tell the truth, to show the child that it is best not to lie (he was not told by the staff member that she wouldn't tell Dad), and in the hope that the father might reflect on his behaviour especially if the child is likely to express his anxiety to those people looking after him. Hopefully by explaining that this sort of thing still happens now and again, the father might be less anxious about his child wetting. The child does not usually wet himself in our care. Another little boy wet himself today, too busy playing outside.


We have today regularly reminded the child to go to the toilet.

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