A Mom Is Concerned After A Daycare Worker Said She 'May Have' Stepped On Her Toddler's Now-Swollen Hand—Other Moms Say She's Overreacting

Her discomfort is valid, even if it was an accident.

Mom and toddler, child playing, foot stepping Karolina Grabowska / Anna Shvets / Pexels, NadyaEugene / Shutterstock

A mom with a 12-month-old baby asked the parenting forum Mumsnet if she was being unreasonable for thinking that her daughter’s nursery school caregiver is covering up an accident that occurred while her baby was in their care.

The mom explained that her daughter has been at nursery school for a few months since she returned to work. She reported having “a few problems” with the nursery, as, in her words, “the manager’s attitude sucks.” She also said that while they've found an alternative nursery for her daughter to attend, the location doesn’t have space for the next 6 months.


The most recent incident that the mother took issue with involved a carer accidentally hurting her daughter.

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The mom no longer trusts her daughter's nursery carer after she 'may have stepped' on her daughter's hand.

The nursery contacted the mom and let her know that “a carer was walking past [her] daughter and then she started crying.” The nursery workers reviewed the CCTV and reported that they couldn’t see what happened, but the carer “may have stepped on her hand.” The mom explained that her daughter’s hand was red and sore but not swollen and that she was in fine spirits when she picked her up that evening.


“I understand that kids have accidents,” the mom stated. “She's banged her head, fallen over, been bitten… and these incidents don't really bother me (much) because I know they will happen. Kids don't know how to play nicely and with staff ratios, they won't be able to prevent everything.”



She went on to say that while she’s never complained about any previous incidents, she might lodge a formal complaint about her daughter being stepped on by her caregiver. She explained that her concern rose when the nursery wouldn’t let her watch the footage, and that “the use of ‘may have’ feels like a cover-up.”

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The mom has doubts as to whether it was an accident because the nursery won’t let her watch the CCTV.

“If it’s just an accident, why not just admit it? Also, I feel like this type of accident isn’t acceptable,” as it didn’t involve another child, but rather “an adult who’s working in a nursery and should be careful about where they are stepping.”

“I don’t feel like stepping on a child is acceptable, even if accidentally,” the mom stated. “I feel so uncomfortable leaving her there.” She wondered if it would be unreasonable to take her daughter out of the nursery school early, despite not having any backup childcare lined up.

Other parents on the forum offered their guidance and support, telling the mom stories of times when their own children were accidentally injured at daycare. 

“I’ve definitely stood on all 4 of my kids by accident at one point or another, felt terrible about it and apologized, but accidents happen,” said one parent. “I'm sure she didn't put her stomping boots on and specifically go over to crush your child.”


That parent addressed the issue of linguistics with the use of the phrase “may have,” hypothesizing that “it would be very hard to really tell on CCTV if the staff member just caught her hand.”

They offered reassurance to the concerned mom, saying, “It sounds like your little one is ok though which is great news. I wouldn't think this is particularly out of the ordinary for nursery accidents.”

Someone else addressed the mom’s concerns about the CCTV, stating their belief that “the fact [that] you aren't allowed to view the CCTV may be because the parents of the other children don't want other people viewing their kids. They might not give permission for sharing the images.”

“I think the fact that she was fine at pick up and they've gone out their way to investigate [and] identify what may have happened and tell you is admirable and shows honesty,” commented another parent.


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Learning how to trust that your child is safe in someone else's care is an invaluable skill to have.

Children benefit from having adults who aren't their parents care for them, as it shows them secure attachment methods, and grows their community of trusted adults. Parent Circle recommends that the best way to learn to trust your child's teacher is to remember that you're engaged in a partnership with them.

Teachers want the best for their students, just as parents want the best for their children. In times of conflict, Parent Circle advises that it's important to remember that teachers and caregivers are only human, and all humans make mistakes.


Despite the likelihood of the incident being accidental, the mom’s feeling of discomfort is valid, as one parent pointed out in their comment. “The main factor here is that your trust in them is gone and once that happens it's no longer the right setting for your child.”

The nursery did show accountability for the incident, only their reaction didn’t unfold in the way the mother wanted. Still, every parent should feel that their child is safe in the hands of their caregiver, and if this mother no longer believes that to be true, she should probably explore other childcare options.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.