Chestnut Hill playground, Stamford, CT

Received Friday, September 17, 2010
nanny sighting 7 Chestnut Hill playground, Stamford, CT, about 11:30 am, 9-16-10

Children: 2 boys, oldest 4-5, dressed in khakis and pink polo/ rugby shirt; youngest a toddler about 13-15 mos, dressed in black/navy and white striped shirt.

Nanny: 30- plus hispanic woman, not entirely sure of age, straight dark hair slightly longer than shoulder length.

She sat about 25 yards away. Reading what looked like magazines, and not watching the kids. I thought the two boys were with another nearby mom/nanny. I was tending to my two and noticed the toddler had climbed to the top of a rope ladder on the big kids' play structure. To my horror, and before I could yell to the person whom I thought was his caretaker, he fell 5' from the platform. When he started to cry, the nanny ran over, then yelled at the oldest, "what did you do to him? Why did you throw wood chips in his face?" I yelled to her that the child had fallen and she picked him up and comforted him. I kept a close eye and within minutes he was walking around. He could easily have broken something or injured his head or neck, and i still feel sorry I didn't berate her and tell her he should be checked out. Forgetting the obvious neglect for a minute, it's troubling that she berated the brother before knowing what happened. Once the toddler stopped crying, she went back to reading, rarely looking up while the boys played. This woman should not be watching young children (or any children). She is not an engaged caregiver to say the least and not showing good judgement in where the toddler can safely play. She should have her eyes on him all the time. She drove away in a silver GM type suv.


MissDee said...

How scary. And had this child broken his arm, or had another serious injury, how would she have explained that to the parents?

Nanny is at ER with injured child. She calls parent at work, to tell them the child was injured. Parent races to hosiptal, talks to nanny, talks to doctor and talks to nanny again. Nanny then tells her, "he fell in the park because I was too busy reading People and US weekly, along with going through a sex toy catalog, so I can pick out a vibrator. I thought that I could take some time to myself and relax because his brother his old enough to watch him, and there are other nannies to help out in the park in case of emergency...."

Wow...OP: would you remember this nanny, child and vehicle if you saw them again?

ChiNanny said...

Wow, I sure hope the boy is really okay, or that the nanny tells the parents he fell in case something shows up later... though it's doubtful.

Good sighting OP


just curios what they are paying this nanny?

another nanny said...

The general rule of thumb is if a child falls from something taller than himself, he is supposed to get medical attention (correct me if I'm wrong). Even with a soft surface, 5 feet is a long way to fall. OP, maybe you could put up some fliers in the neighborhood and/or post on a local parents' message board? Next time, the boy could be seriously injured.

ChiNanny said...

Another nanny - I've heard the same guideline. usually I'm a "brush it off" type person, but that is a huge fall for such a young child. I definitely would have taken him to be sure he's okay.

Op, if this is somewhere you frequent regularly and are able to find the boy, nanny, or parents, I'd urge you to inform them of what happened. This nanny wasn't just negligent in her supervision, but overall doesn't have good childcare common sense if she didn't take this fall seriously.

Namey said...

MissDee, that was obnoxious and uncalled for. Grow up.

OP said...

Funny, because the very first thing I thought as i saw this 13 mo old fall through the air and slam his head in the wood chips was, "I wonder if this nanny is getting paid $20 an hour like every other nanny in this area. Probably not, so that little boy just got what he deserved." but i guess I shouldn't bite at such a ridiculous attempt to inflame.

I think i would recognize them again. I'll look for local message boards, I'm wondering if the pink shirt was a uniform because another girl and boy had the same or a similar color on. School wouldn't get out that early though. The kid was hanging by his hands for a second, so at least it wasn't like he pitched head first from 5'. He landed on his bottom first.

TC said...

Poor kid, I watch an almost 14 month old and I can't imagine NOT watching him like a hawk, they aren't steady on their feet at that age and they certainly don't understand or have that fear of falling. I just can't fathom taking him to a park and expecting his older sibling to watch him for me while I sat on a bench reading a magazine. At his age I follow him around helping him up on things or pushing him in the swing, I don't have a free moment to sit down let alone ready a book.

OP how long after the fall did they leave? I know I was always told that if a child bumps their head watch them for an hour for signs of trauma like sleepiness or irritability and of course don't let them go to sleep. If they act fine after an hour they are more than likely ok.

Op just in case you haven't thought about this, if you ever see them again or anything else like this take pictures with your phone. If you can get the license plate number you might be able to go to the cops...not sure if they can or will do anything though

Phoenix said...

As far as I know. CHild falls, cries, then is ok... then it is ok. I think the nanny acted as any other adult would. Letting the kids play while she relaxed. SHe wasn't a mean nanny. She sprang up and attended to the little boy and comforted him. TO me that shows no sign of a "Bad" nanny.

TheOriginalDenverNanny said...

I'm with TC on this one-- I would never leave a child that age unattended--especially on the "big kid" playground!! I've had a 2 year old charge get a concussion falling down 2 steps so who knows how badly this little one could have been hurt. Pheonix is probably correct that since he was up and acting "normal", he was probably okay. However, the situation could have been much, much worse and a 13 month old falling from that height probably should have been examined.

oh well said...

I don't think you can read a magazine
in a park and watch two children under five. In my opinion the nanny was not doing her job properly.
Also, OP should not feel bad about not confronting the nanny - I don't see how this would have helped the situation.

nanny said...

Just because a child is not crying does not mean there's not an injury. Children with head injuries can seem fine until hours later when they begin vomiting or lose consciousness. Bones can be fractured and not cause pain.

mom_of_one said...

Missdee is just being Missdee. Sometimes she provides comic relief when it is most needed. Those of us that know her well have come to love her.

And to 'another nanny' - I have heard the same exact thing. That if a child falls from a height more than his he should seek medical help.

Hopefully this kid is ok, especially since he stopped crying after a short while.

OP, how long after the kid cried where you still there to observe him?

OP said...

I was there, and watched him for another 30 min before they left. He was toddling around and playing. I was pretty convinced he was fine, but kept thinking, Natasha Richardson. :( I was just horrified seeing him fall from such a high height and there is no way I'd ever leave a 13 mo old out of my sight to play on any playground, let alone the big kids playground. She was down a little hill and I'm not even sure she could see him at all. I go to the playground a lot and will be on the lookout for them.

cali mom said...

This is exactly what this site is here for!

Anyone taking care of a 13 month old should be watching them VERY carefully at a playground meant for older kids, and really ought to be shadowing them to prevent such a fall. This is not helicoptering, it's basic safety with a baby that age.

I'd sure want to know if I had hired someone to care for my kids who seemed to think a trip to the playground was her opportunity to zone out and read magazines without even an occasional glance at the kids. I couldn't imagine being that careless!

bad thumb rule said...

Fall from any height with questionable head injury should be checked by a medical professional. Our community justhad an accident with a toddler who was hit by a very slow moving car (walking speed), cleared by the ER, and then bounced back and is now in the ICU at the local children's hospital with a delayed head injury.

She hit her head and seemed OK after several hours, but then went down hill the next day.

Put the responsibility in the hands of a medical professional if there is a potentially severe head injury, rather than taking the risk of missing a minimally symptomatic concussion.

Namey said...

That's great, but I don't know MissDee and I still stand by what I said. That was overkill, and it was rude.

Namey said...

*And not even close to comic relief. Poor attempt at humour at someone else's expense.