Thompsons Solicitors has secured a settlement for a young child who suffered a wound to her face when she was left unsupervised and fell at nursery.
The three-year-old girl was on the playground of a private preparatory nursery in Swindon when she tripped on the pedals of a scooter and fell face first onto the scooter’s exposed metal handlebar.
The scooter did not have rubber grips on the handlebars, so the girl’s face hit the sharp steel frame. This should have been picked up during the nursery’s safety checks but it had been overlooked.
The girl’s mother was called and she took her daughter to hospital where doctors cleaned and glued a laceration wound near her mouth. Her scarring is still visible three years after the incident.
The nursery condemned the scooter as unsafe but given that before the accident, parents had expressed concerns after a group of children were not being properly supervised and nearly opened a minibus door as it was in transit the family took the decision to move away from the area and put their child in another nursery.
The mother said: “To get a phone call saying that your three-year-old has cut her face is worrying enough, but to find out it was from a lack of safety checks is inexcusable. Despite her injury I think we were very lucky – if it had struck her eye then the injury could have been far worse.
“This scooter had obviously not been maintained for quite some time, but that wasn’t the only problem. Children were never given helmets and would often be left unattended on the playground, yet we were still expected to pay significant fees to send our daughter to this nursery.”
“The lack of care for the children made us feel extremely anxious. Thankfully, Thompsons Solicitors was able to fight our case and ensure that the nursery admitted liability for its failures. The scarring has been recognised in an award that we have put away for our daughter for when she is older.”
Shelly Newman, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “For an environment that is supposed to look after the young to so blatantly disregard basic health and safety procedures is shocking. A scooter with exposed jagged steel is so obviously unsuitable for children. The fact it was even at the nursery in the first place is completely unacceptable but it was even more an accident waiting to happen given the lack of supervision.
“Parents should be able to have complete trust in the childcare providers they are using – a young girl shouldn’t have to be left with such a nasty scar because the nursery failed to carry out basic safety checks.”