Inquiry Follows Nursery Complaint

A police investigation has begun into a mother’s complaint about a nursery’s treatment of her one-year-old daughter. Debbie Rye said Kyla had been strapped into a buggy for four hours on one of the hottest days by staff at the Ideal Start centre at Crookedholm, Ayrshire. She said the toddler suffered friction burns as she tried to free herself and had to stay overnight in hospital. The Care Commission said it had upheld the complaint and the nursery has declined to comment on the incident. Mrs Rye, from Kilmarnock, said she acted after she discovered the burn marks on Kyla on 26 July.

She telephoned NHS 24 and was advised to take Kyla to Crosshouse Hospital where she said doctors became so concerned for the child’s condition that they called in social workers and kept her overnight for observation.

Mrs Rye made a formal complaint which also included concerns about inadequate nappy changing – with nappies changed only once in nine hours – and a failure to give the children fluids in the severe heat.

She withdrew Kyla from the nursery and said the toddler had lost two pounds in her six weeks there.

“It was one of the hottest days of the year,” she said. “The staff took Kyla out at 11am and didn’t come back until 3pm. As far as we know, they took her to the park, then to the shops. They didn’t pick Kyla up at all and didn’t change her or give her extra water.”

Mrs Rye said she wanted to see further action taken.

“The report on its own means nothing if direct action isn’t taken against the nursery and the staff involved,” she said. “We still don’t know whether the staff have been suspended. Even when the verbal report came out they were still employed, which I find insulting considering what they’ve done to our daughter.”

A spokesman for the commission said: “We received a complaint against Ideal Start day care centre and, following an investigation, this complaint was upheld and four requirements for immediate improvement made. We will continue to monitor the service to ensure that these requirements are met. We understand this matter has been referred to the police and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further.”

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said: “An inquiry is ongoing and is in its early stages.”