ECEC service penalised for burns incident
An early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider in Western Australia has been ordered to pay $11,000.00 in penalties in relation to an incident where a child under two years of age suffered burns to their feet from standing on a hot surface barefoot during outdoor play.
The approved provider received a further penalty of $1,000 for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that staff follow the policies and procedures required under regulation 168 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012 (National Regulations), contrary to regulation 170(1) of the National Regulations, and to make a $2,000 contribution to the legal costs of the Department of Communities’.
The circumstances of the incident, which took place in mid November last year, involved two educators, one of whom was inside, and one outside.
As children began to wake from their naps, one educator took the awake children outside, asking them to wait in the shaded space while they had sunscreen applied, and hats and shoes put on.
During that time, two children were fighting with one another, and one of the waiting children wandered onto the bike path without shoes, sustaining first and second degree burns to their feet, but not reacting at the time. The educator, on noticing the child, removed them to the shade.
As the day progressed the child demonstrated signs of pain and distress, however the educators were unable to determine the cause, contacting the parent, who took the child to the doctor, where the burns were discovered.
“As we approach the hot summer months the potential of similar incidents occurring increases. Education and Care providers must be aware of their responsibility to ensure they have robust processes in place and to ensure their staff have embedded the practice,” Phil Payne, Executive Director, Regulation and Quality, Department of Communities said.
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