Mum sues nursery after claiming four-year-old boy attacked her baby
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Featured Image Credit: 7NEWS
An Australian mum is taking legal action against a nursery after claiming a four-year-old boy attacked her baby.
Her son, Jack, was just seven months old at the time, and according to an incident report written by staff at the centre, the young boy had picked up a toy and would not let go.
Another child, who was four years old, is said to have then attacked Jack. The report noted the baby's injuries as a 'scratch', but Swindells has claimed her baby was punched, scratched and bitten while the children were unsupervised.
The centre's report claimed staff intervened 'within seconds', though Swindells has alleged the educator in charge was changing another child's nappy when the incident unfolded.
Swindells claimed that it wasn't until her own four-year-old daughter intervened that the alleged attack came to an end.
“If it wasn’t for my daughter having to pull a four-year-old child off, I don’t know what else he would have sustained from that,” Swindells told 7NEWS.
The mum added that she was 'furious' the centre had reported Jack’s injuries as a 'scratch', while photos indicated he had multiple scratches, including on his scalp and under his eyes.
She claimed Jack was bitten on the arm and punched in the face, and even that his eyes were gouged and he was hit with a puzzle-piece block.
“My doctor told me that was not an injury that was sustained in seconds, it would have been minutes,” she said.
Questioning why four-year-olds had been left in a room with babies, Swindells claimed Jack was traumatised by the event and now has a variety of long-term issues.
“He has behavioural issues, eyesight issues, he’s diagnosed with traits of ADHD and (has) problems with toileting,” Swindells said.
In the wake of the incident, the mum has argued that parents should be able to check staffing ratios at daycare centres.
“It’s traumatising to think that you put your trust in a childcare centre to look after your child, and you pick them up and they look like that,” she said. “It’s appalling.”
In response to Swindells' allegations, the childcare centre told 7News staff acted as soon as they became aware of the incident.
They also said the centre was 'fully compliant' with child-to-staff ratios at the time, adding: "(Staff) administered appropriate first aid, and parents and the regulatory authority were notified, resolving the issue.
“We did not hear anything further until March 2022, almost four years later, when we were contacted by Shine Lawyers. We are unaware of any new legal action.
“We remain ready and willing to engage to resolve the existing claim.”