Baby suffers burns on arm at childcare centre

Baby suffers burns on arm at childcare centre

A nine-month-old baby suffered second-degree burns on his left arm after being allegedly scalded by hot coffee at a PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Little Wings childcare centre in Jurong West on Oct 2.

Photographs of the infant's swollen arm covered with blisters were posted on social networking site Facebook by a friend of his mother's on Tuesday.

The foundation told The Straits Times he had been accidentally scalded by a cup of coffee left on the floor by an infant-care worker when she went to raise some window blinds. It said its investigations found the infant-care worker had been "clearly negligent" in carrying out her duties and the "appropriate disciplinary action" would be taken against her.

According to the centre, the parents had just left after dropping off the baby when the incident happened. The worker had put him on the floor when she went to stow away his things. The parents were called immediately, and they came back for him.

But the friend, Ms Wendy Foo, wrote in her post that there were no coffee stains on his arm and the boy's mother had insisted on reviewing the closed-circuit television camera footage. "The video shows differently from what they claim to be," she said, adding that the child has been withdrawn from the childcare centre.

The pre-school said it was in touch with the parents and the police had seen the footage. The police confirmed a report has been lodged and they are investigating. The Early Childhood Development Agency, a government body set up this year to oversee the pre-school sector, also said it was aware of the incident, and was investigating.

PCF, which runs 353 pre-school centres, said it would review the environment and procedures at the centre to prevent such accidents from recurring.

"We are sorry for what happened and will do everything we can to help the child recover from this accident," said PCF's chief executive, Mr Tay Swee Yee. "We would like to assure all parents that we take this matter very seriously and that the welfare and safety of our students is of paramount concern to us."

The parents could not be contacted.

jantai@sph.com.sg


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