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Pills, kids and the big hush up!

By Marcus Paul 28 July 2015 12

childcare stock image

I’ve known about this incident for a few days now. At first mention it left a sickly feeling inside. Three children were apparently hospitalised after ingesting adult medication at a childcare centre in our city’s south last Thursday (23 July 2015).

Pardon?

Yes, three kids, ages unknown, allegedly downed a number of sleeping pills and were taken to hospital.

Surely this was a mistake. No childcare centre correctly following strict ACT regulations would allow this kind of thing to happen to children in their care? However, judging by a  commentary on social media, and a report elsewhere today, this did indeed happen.

So, your concerned reporter, with two kids of his own, followed leads and analysed the commentary. It lead directly to a childcare facility with a somewhat tainted reputation judging by what has been outlined by many parents.

A call was made to this centre, and a solemn “no comment” was given. Seeking clarification or at least even an admission that it was indeed the facility at the heart of the allegations, the response “we have been told not to make any comment” rang through loud and clear.

Where have we heard this kind of thing before?

OK, so I agree investigations need to happen. The ACT Education and Training Directorate, the regulator, has confirmed it is working with the centre to look into the incident.

Just like the “cage” incident. And we all know that report and investigation is still outstanding after four months. Four months! Parents who have children with special needs in this city deserve so much better.

It is all about accountability.

The fact is, ambulance officers were called to a childcare facility and three children were treated in hospital after ingesting pills of some kind. The centre was closed down for a day or so but has now re-opened.

It’s not as if there is “nothing to see here”.

And until the centre itself confirms, or the government department actually holds a funny little thing called a press conference, we will continue to drift along with an air of apparent indifference.

Well, I won’t be.

I’m afraid parents, taxpayers and everyone else here in the ACT deserve much much more.

Earlier today, a parent of one of the children hospitalised as a result of the incident contacted me. She said she was disappointed by the childcare centre’s response.

“As one of the parents of the children hospitalised over the incident at Conder Early Learning Centre, as much as I want to make comment we have been advised the AFP will be handling things,” she said.

The parent went on to say that both she and the other mother involved were extremely disappointed by the way the centre has handled the matter and its lack of comment on the incident.

“Thursday could have ended so much differently than it did but we are so thankful that we had the outcome that we did.”

“Our boys should never have been in that situation, we should have been contacted well before we did and the calls should have come from the director or head teacher, not from other staff members in the centre. And an ambulance should have been called well before one was requested twice”.

Indeed.

Marcus Paul is the host of Canberra Live 3pm weekdays on 2CC.

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Pills, kids and the big hush up!
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scorpio63 11:09 pm 30 Jul 15

Therefore, pray for all of your Infants, Toddlers, Children and Teenagers in trust to Jesus and our Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother of Whom intercedes for us all.

Kind wishes

scorpio63 10:46 pm 30 Jul 15

The ultimate responsibility of children rests with “Parents” of all Infants/Babies, Toddlers and young Children of whom as yet do not attend ‘school’, should be with their Mother and/or Father or extended family members of whom have their Child’s best interests at heart.

Childminders, babysitters and Day Care Centre personnel are not the people to ultimately blame.

These years are the most important and precious years with most Infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers needing their Mother or Father greatly. It is a long, long day for an Infant, toddler and/or pre-schooler, placed in Child care. Situations of which many of us in our thirties, forties and fifties never really had to endure.

Doing without many things in life starting out when there is love within the household and faith in Jesus, God and The Holy Spirit is more important than bringing in the big dollars for all of those flashy extras. Without judgement, yet based upon experience, there are many employment opportunities to work part time, casually, or not at all, for the initial 4 years within a Child’s life, thus eliminating the need to place young ones in Childcare/Daycare.

Perhaps this was a wake up call for those of whom have placed their ‘babies/infants/toddlers’ in Centres, to do an overhaul of their budgets and work out priorities.

God speaks in so many ways as does evil act in so many ways. When there is a situation involving near death of Adults and children, it is good to try and learn from situations, look at the precious gift of lives that God has given to Families and people, to be grateful and thankful to God that He did protect those young ones from dying, prolonging their lives here and thus Blessing their Parents and siblings.

The Parents really should be thanking Jesus God and The Holy Spirit, for it is God, through the prayers of others from their hearts for Children, Whom Blesses and protects all Children. Someone, somewhere, was praying for all Children here on earth and in Australia.

Give thanks to God our Heavenly Father – I only just included all Children here in Australia and throughout each Nation in The Holy Rosary over the past couple of weeks while praying for other world causes.

Nevertheless, the Glory is all Yours Dear God our Heavenly Father. Amen.

zllauh 11:54 am 30 Jul 15

I guess the media just blew it up a bit .

Heavs 8:49 am 30 Jul 15

Sandman said :

According to the articles I read it was a children’s sedative prescribed to one of the children who took it. Childcare staff were obviously aware of this at the time and acted with more knowledge than has been revealed by the media.
I don’t see how speculation and a lynch mob helps anything. Naturally, the other family will be angry and looking for someone to blame. I mean, it’s not like they should teach their own child about taking medication that’s not for them. They’re obviously perfect parents.

Oh yeah, why can’t the childcare centre be watching every single kid every single minute? Surely all the perfect parents do that every day at home too?

Leave the investigation and subsequent actions to the professionals instead of guessing and assuming everything.

Dude, you’re doing it wrong. I HAVE KIDS!!!!!! THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO THEM!!!!

We demand to know answers now. I don’t care about your ‘review’ or ‘facts’. I want someone strung up by Friday afternoon otherwise I’m marching. Or at least starting a hashtag thing.

Sandman 10:27 pm 29 Jul 15

According to the articles I read it was a children’s sedative prescribed to one of the children who took it. Childcare staff were obviously aware of this at the time and acted with more knowledge than has been revealed by the media.
I don’t see how speculation and a lynch mob helps anything. Naturally, the other family will be angry and looking for someone to blame. I mean, it’s not like they should teach their own child about taking medication that’s not for them. They’re obviously perfect parents.

Oh yeah, why can’t the childcare centre be watching every single kid every single minute? Surely all the perfect parents do that every day at home too?

Leave the investigation and subsequent actions to the professionals instead of guessing and assuming everything.

PickedANickname 5:10 pm 29 Jul 15

I am with Marcus on this one. We need to get angry, loud and demand better care for our children.

The director DID NOT CALL AN AMBULENCE as a first course of action. The director DID NOT call the parents of the children. I cannot imagine the distress of that parent with an UNRESPOINSIVE child demanding an ambulance be called and the director questioning the parent if that was the right course of action???

The actions of the centre director were criminal. The issue needs to be highlighted for all parents to ask their childcare centre what would they do in the case of an accident that required medical attention.

Parents need to be aware of what is in a child’s bag and to follow any medicine protocols but I expect the childcare centre to protect my child from parents who may not have complied with policy.

TuggLife 10:55 am 29 Jul 15

It is a terrible incident, but I’m not sure what you were after. Do you honestly think that the person who answers the phone (ie, the centre director or one of the educators) is going to candidly answer questions from the media or a random person calling the centre? Perhaps direct media enquiries to the parent company, G8 Education, although I am sure you will receive the same response at this point.
There is an ongoing investigation from the directorate, and according to the Crimes, a police investigation. I am reasonably confident that the centre staff don’t feel very good about themselves this week, and whipping up a lynch mob isn’t helpful to anyone. Do you think that you deserve a public mea culpa, just because you are outraged? It seems that seeking a resolution that prevents it happening again, and supporting the affected children, seems like a better outcome.

I would also advise caution against taking information from parents about childcare services on social media as gospel – a significant number of the parents at my child’s service couldn’t care less about the daily workings of the service, much less about the home situation of other families at the service, and would not be well placed to comment authoratatively on them (and neither am I, to be honest.)

Rollersk8r 9:36 am 29 Jul 15

Sounds as though the centre has handled and is handling it badly – but the full story also sounds like this is being blown out of all proportion – and your outrage isn’t helping. Just like the “cage” thing was also blown out of proportion. We are all just dying to be outraged and disgusted…

From what I understand from the Canberra Times’ story – it was prescribed children’s medication. It was in a child’s bag – and the person who dropped the child off (not a parent) didn’t know the procedures around medication – and may not have even known it was in the bag. It’s not hard to see how this kind of mistake happened.

JC 7:21 am 29 Jul 15

So what your saying Marcus is you want a lynch mob formed and someone identified to be sacrificial lynched?

Personally I would rather the directorate work with the centre to find out how this happened, and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. If the report identifies someone as needing to be lynched then sure go ahead. But to rush this kind of thing through to satisfy the mob is not the way to go.

Dame Canberra 5:14 pm 28 Jul 15

D4RKC1N said :

While the centre should have reacted faster and with a lot more effort, where did the pills come from? ive been told that the papers seem to infer that one of the kids took them in from home?

I’ve heard that the kid brought them from home too. And that’s why you keep medicines out of reach of children. Especially toddlers.

It’s sad that it happened, and good that no one was seriously hurt. It’s also lucky that the kid didn’t bring a knife, or a pair of scissors, or worse…

I think childcare workers do it tough at the best of times (being underpaid, overworked and chronically under appreciated), and it would be difficult to spot a kid sharing around tablets. Although, if I left kids in the care of someone else I’d hope that person would keep a close eye on them. And why wasn’t the ambulance called until later??

HenryBG 5:11 pm 28 Jul 15

Maybe if they’d used the cage this wouldn’t have happened?

D4RKC1N 4:46 pm 28 Jul 15

While the centre should have reacted faster and with a lot more effort, where did the pills come from? ive been told that the papers seem to infer that one of the kids took them in from home?

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