Parents Fear Unwarranted Investigations

Parents Fear Quizzing At A&E
10 March 2016

If you've ever done the desperate dash to A&E with an injured child, you'll know that your mind is a blur in that most horrible of moments.

But according to new data, as many as six in ten parents fear that officials are 'sometimes too quick to take action against parents who have done nothing wrong', leading some parents to feel reluctant about taking a child to their GP or local A&E department following a minor injury.

The Mail reports:

Many parents are reluctant to take children hurt in an accident to the doctor in case they face harsh questioning by social workers, a survey found. One in four are worried about visiting A&E or their GP with bumps and bruises after a genuine mishap, amid growing concern about authorities over-reacting by launching 'unwarranted investigations'.

On the one hand this story surprised me. I've made the mad dash to casualty with each of my three children over the years, and I don't recall even pausing for breath in my urgency to get my child treated, never mind stopping to worry about what anyone might think about how my child came by their injury.

But on the other hand, when one of my kids broke a limb in the most unlikely of circumstances - literally stepping from the back door into the garden - I did prepare myself for a thorough line of questioning at the hospital.

In the end that didn't happen - it turns out that the type of fracture sustained is so common that it's known as a 'toddler break' by medical staff. Consequently they had no questions about the incidents leading up to my baby's broken limb.

But had I been quizzed about how my child came to break a leg before the age of two, I think I'd have happily taken a grilling. Because wouldn't we rather that professionals were over-zealous in these things if that's what it takes to safe-guard children who may in be in harm's way? Better safe than sorry.

Obviously, having your children removed from your care when they are in no danger - as happened to some of the parents mentioned in the Mail piece - is a very different scenario. That should never happen and there ought to be steps in place to prevent unwarranted investigations from ever reaching that point.

But I still don't think I'd ever let worry about such an outcome make me 'reluctant' to take a child to hospital. There's surely no greater priority than getting your child seen and treated when they're injured.

But what do you think? Do you identify with the parents who say they are reluctant to take a child to A&E for fear that medical professionals or social workers may be too quick to take serious action over minor injuries - or even launch unwarranted investigations?

TOPICS:   Parents

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