Over 200 children were seriously injured in childcare centres in Ireland last year 1 week ago

Over 200 children were seriously injured in childcare centres in Ireland last year

Childcare centres are required to contact Tusla if a child dies in their care, picks up an infectious disease, gets seriously injured or goes missing.

And last year, according to newly released figures, as many as 205 children were seriously injured whilst being looked after in childcare facilities across Ireland.

These statistics, released after a freedom of information request was lodged regarding safety in childcare centres, are worrying, says Suzanne Connolly, chief executive with Barnardos.

Speaking to Newstalk earlier this week, Connolly raised concerned about the relatively high number of children who sustained serious in childcare centres last year.

She said:

“It is concerning that it has happened 205 times because obviously when parents place their children in the care of professionals in an early years service they expect them to come to no harm and have all their needs met."

According to Tusla, many of the more serious injuries that happen in childcare centres tend to be when a child falls over or spills something over themselves.

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Connolly continued:

“Children in early years services need to be supervised at all times and when accidents like you described have occurred it is really important that every effort is made to ensure that they don’t occur again.”

Children going missing

As well as the more serious injuries reported to Tusla last year, there were also 12 reports of children going missing while in the care of childcare providers.

However, a representative from Tusla stressed that these figures can also include when a child is just being unaccounted for, but it turns out they are still remaining on site.

On an even more serious note, 38 childcare facilities had what is called an irregular closure in 2021 - which means they were obliged to close because of an incident in the service.