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Gloucester parents: 'We felt like suspects after our daughter's third degree burns at nursery'

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 11, 2014

By Nick Webster

  • Connie and Freya

  • Freya's injured hand

DEVASTATED parents say they felt like suspects after their toddler suffered third degree burns at her nursery in Quedgeley.

Detectives are making inquiries following 18-month-old Freya Brooker’s injury at Teddy Bears Picnic in Bristol Road.

Parents Connie, 31, and Terry Brooker, 33, from Quedgeley, said they have now pulled her out of the nursery.

Following the injury, they took her to be checked out by A & E staff at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital where child protection services were notified.

Connie, a nursery nurse in Bristol, said it has been a stressful time for the whole family.

“I picked Freya up from nursery and she had two injuries on her hand,” she said.

“We didn’t know they were burns at the time.

“I showed my husband and we took her straight away to see the nurse at the Quedgeley medical centre.

“The nurse said to wait 24 hours as it could have been a skin infection. We left it until morning and then I phoned the nursery to ask what had happened to my baby.”

Connie said she left it 24 hours, but took Freya to A&E when her hand got worse, she said nurses there told her she had suffered third degree burns

The couple said it was then they had to face ‘terrifying’ questions over their parental care.

“Nurses asked us how it happened,” Connie added.

“When we said we didn’t know, it became a child protection issue. As parents, that was terrifying.

“The hospital staff said they couldn’t let us go until they found out what had happened.

“We were being questioned as parents, that was deeply worrying and we felt like we were treated as suspects for harming our daughter.”

Freya was transferred to a specialist burns unit at Frenchay Hospital, near Bristol, where her wound was ‘scrubbed’ clean and bandaged.

But the Brookers said that Teddy Bears Picnic Nursery has still not explained what happened, and the parents are unsure of any long term consequences the injury may have.

The privately owned day nursery offers full day care and sessional day care. A spokesman for Teddy Bears Picnic said: “We are working with all relevant authorities in respect of the investigation.

“As the proceedings are ongoing, we are unable to comment further.”

A spokesman for Gloucestershire police said its protection bureau is currently investigating the cause of an injury to a child at a nursery in Quedgeley.

“No arrests have been made in connection with the case and as inquiries are ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time,” he said.

A Gloucestershire County Council spokesman said it was working closely with Ofsted and regular nursery inspections are taking place.

He said it would not be appropriate to comment in detail on this specific allegation as the police investigation is going.

A Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “When a child arrives at our emergency department with injuries, we answer a series of set questions on the front of that child’s patient records. These look at whether there has been a delay in seeking treatment, if there are unusual or multiple injuries, a history of injury or confusion about the injury. If unclear, then the assessing doctor or practitioner will ask further questions and may seek assistance from a senior colleague or on occasion, to social care colleagues. It is important to emphasise this is no reflection on parents or responsible adults.”

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