Child injured at shire health centre


MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire says it has removed potential hazards from its 17 Maternal and Child Health centres after an eight-month-old child was hospitalised with a head injury sustained at one of the centres.

On Friday, the shire confirmed an anonymous report received by The News that the child had been injured in an incident involving a wall heater.

The report claimed the child had been severely burnt but shire communications manager Todd Trimble said this was incorrect.

“The child was not ‘severely burnt’, but rather sustained an impact injury to the head as a result of a heater grate landing on them. The heater was not on at the time,” he said.

The report claimed the child was alone in a room but Mr Trimble said this was incorrect. “The child was on the floor next to the mother who was talking with a Maternal and Child Health nurse.”

The shire’s acting director of sustainable communities, Robin Adams, said it was “the first time an incident of this nature has occurred”.

“The Maternal and Child Health team take health and safety very seriously. Staff members acted promptly to render first aid and continued to support the family in the following days. The infant has made a complete recovery,” he said.

“The shire’s infrastructure team immediately completed a sweep of all Maternal and Child Health centres to remove any similar risks to ensure such an incident does not occur again.

“The family has met with council officers; they are continuing to use the service and there has been no indication that they will be taking the matter further.”

Mr Adams said that about 10,000 children up to age six were enrolled in the shire’s Maternal and Child Health program. “The program completes about 18,000 consultations a year from 17 service locations.”

The News understands the child received minor plastic surgery on the scalp after sustaining a minor fracture. It is believed the child pulled the grate away from the heater but the shire refused to confirm this.

The shire also would not say if it was required by law to report the incident to WorkSafe or other state government authorities. Nor would it say explicitly if it offered to pay all medical expenses.

First published in the Mornington News – 19 May 2015


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