"Toddler accident results in suspicion"

About: Boston social services Pilgrim Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a parent/guardian),

My toddler daughter accidentally touched my straighteners while having a tantrum. I was holding them away from her but she managed to come into contact with them. At first I wasn't 100% sure whether she had actually touched them as there was no mark, but I ran her hand under a cold tap as a precaution. About an hour later I had a look and noticed that a mark was appearing. I gave her some ibuprofen in case it was sore, but as it wasn't there to begin with I didn't think it was serious but decided to keep an eye on it. After a while I noticed a tiny blister forming in the burn. I still kept an eye on it and when I could see the blister had grown a little I decided to call 111 as I was unsure about what to do. They advised to take her to hospital within the hour. I called my other half, her father, who said that he would leave work and take her, as I am a childminder and had children here so it would be easiest for him to take her. We didn't realise this would be an issue.

While he was there they made him feel like we are suspected child abusers. We are nothing but loving parents who would do anything for our baby girl. They were accusingly questioning everything and stripped her down to check for signs of abuse. They told him that a health visitor would be coming to see me. I was worried sick about what was being said about me, and how this might damage my work. I called the health visitor in the morning in floods of tears as I could not believe what was happening all because of my daughter having an accident! The health visitor assured me that I had nothing to worry about, that it had not been referred and that all they wanted to do was have a chat with me, which we were doing, so she said that is the end of I and nothing to worry about. I felt so relieved about this and felt so much better straight away. That lasted for 10 minutes as then I had a knock on the door and it was social services paying me a visit. they asked me lots of questions about what had happened. They were very patronising and I felt like I was being accused in the way questions were asked. Such as, why is her burn rounded if straighteners have straight edges? I have no idea why the burn is that shape, but it is from touching the straighteners, so what are they suggesting? They told me that the hospital had referred it to them as a potential non accident! What an absolute insult. I am disgusted that these things are being said about me and my daughter. I am nothing but a loving mother and am completely disgusted with how I have been made to feel over all of this.

This has completely knocked my confidence. I actually cannot believe that people think it is ok to make parents feel this way. I understand why it is being done, as there are children out there who are being abused. But does that mean that every single parent whose child has an accident is going to be treated this way? Children have accidents, it is unavoidable. Does this mean every single parent is a suspect? I have been made to feel completely incompetent, inadequate and like a suspected child abuser. This will never go away, I will always remember feeling like this and will always worry when we have to visit the hospital from now on. All I can see this behaviour doing is putting people off from taking their children to hospital. Do you think that child abusers would even bother to take them to hospital?I am completely insulted over this whole thing and I am so mad that I am being treated this way.

I apologise for the long comment but you asked for my feedback and this is how I feel. Disgusted! ! Does this mean that anytime my daughter might have an accident then I am a suspected child abuser? I am a childminder, I could have lost my business over all of this, and I am completely innocent. I have done nothing but love and care for my daughter. So to be treated this way is completely disgusting.

I'm sure they can find another way to look into children instead of completely destroying the parents confidence. I would like to thank you all personally for making me feel like this. I hope you are very happy about it.

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Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear CompletelyDisgusted,

I am sorry to of your experience. I would be more than happy to discuss this with you or meet in person should you wish to do so. Please contact me on the details as below so that I can review this further with you.

Michael Brunton

Matron Emergency Care

Pilgrim Hospital

Sibsey Rd



PE21 9QS

01205 445029