Toddler scalded at daycare

Toddler scalded at daycare

WARNING: This report contains images some viewers may find distressing.

A south Auckland mother is calling for stricter monitoring of daycare centres after her 8-month-old son was severely burned while being bathed.

The incident follows an Education Review Office (ERO) report which revealed nearly one-in-five early childhood centres aren't up to scratch.

Dylan Prasad is a happy little chap now, but just few months ago he was suffering in excruciating pain after being burned while at daycare.

"While I was taking off his clothes his singlet was stuck to the blisters, so as soon as I took it off he started to cry," says his mother Nileshni Prasad.

The daycare says the employee who washed him made a mistake and ran the water while Dylan sat in the tub.

A faulty temperature control valve meant it ran red-hot, scalding his back and leaving him blistered and burned.

He suffered third-degree burns and was in Middlemore Hospital for two nights.

Ms Prasad says she wasn't told about the incident and only found the burns after taking Dylan home.

Bright Sparks Childcare admits it never filed an incident report at the time as it wasn't aware the baby was injured.

"He didn't cry, he didn't show pain and distress," says Lonnie Parker, managing director at Bright Sparks Childcare. "[The employee] said while she was adjusting the water temperature some water must have splashed on his back."

Ms Prasad finds that hard to believe. Two days after the incident, the daycare alerted the Ministry of Education and Worksafe.

"I think in your normal process you need time to gather the facts and interview all of the staff involved," Ms Prasad says.

An ERO report has found 17 percent of early childhood services are mismanaged, or out of date including vetting and registration policies.

Ms Prasad she says she's now too scared to send her son to another daycare, and despite an apology, says her son will remain physically and emotionally scarred.

"'Sorry' won't take away the pain my baby has gone through, and the pain my husband and I have gone through."

Police launched an investigation into the incident but no charges were laid, and the employee involved has since resigned.

Bright Sparks says it has tightened up its procedures and is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Education.