Toddler suffers horrific second-degree burns walking around barefoot on a 39C day – as childcare centre is fined thousands
- Girl, one, suffered burns to her foot
- She was playing at Perth childcare centre
- Centre was fined $14,000
A childcare centre has been fined $14,000 after letting a toddler play barefoot outside on a 39C day – leaving her with horrific second-degree burns.
The one-year-old girl was wandering in the outdoor play area at the Cuddles Early Learning and Childcare Centre in Byford, in Perth’s south-east, on a scorching hot day in February last year.
She wasn’t wearing any socks or shoes and suffered horrific burns to the ball of her foot as a result.
The Department of Communities carried out an investigation after the incident and found staff at the centre had not been following sun safety policies.
The matter was referred to the West Australian State Administrative Tribunal, where the fine was handed down.
The one-year-old girl had been in the outdoor play area at the Cuddles Early Learning and Childcare Centre (pictured) in Byford, in Perth’s south-east, during a scorching hot day in February last year
At the time the child suffered her burns, she was under the care of a staff member who had been working at the centre for four months but hadn’t received an induction.
While the incident was accepted as a one-off, the tribunal found that other staff interviewed were unable to remember the sun safety procedures in place.
Staff were also not reminded or tested on the procedures, nor were there any visible signs about policies regarding hot weather around the centre.
The tribunal found the centre had shown genuine remorse in relation to the incident and had implemented several steps to ramp up sun safety.
These included ensuring staff had read sun safety procedures, allowing staff to use hoses to cool down outside play areas, ensure signs with procedures were around the centre, and providing weekly updates about policies to workers.
The tribunal found the centre had failed ‘to ensure that every reasonable precaution was taken to protect children being educated and cared for by the service from harm and from any hazard likely to cause injury’.
The centre was ordered to pay $14,000 and another $1,500 for the Department of Communities’ legal fees.
The child had been playing outside on a scorching hot day when she suffered second-degree burns to her foot (stock image)