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Bournemouth nursery pays £4k compensation over tea burn

Oakley Hallam-Baker (pictured with mother Tracey) suffered agonising third-degree burns when he tipped the teacher’s drink over himself during supervised play time

A mother has won a £4,300 payout from the nursery where her two-year-old son was badly burned by a hot cup of tea.

Oakley Hallam-Baker suffered agonising third-degree burns when he tipped the teacher’s drink over himself during supervised play time.

The drink had just been made but a member of staff initially said it was 20 minutes old. 

It meant that a call for an ambulance was not prioritised by the service as it was assumed he was not badly hurt.

In fact, the burns down Oakley’s left arm were so severe the skin was peeling off and his father was questioned by social workers worried that the child might be being abused at home – a suspicion that was quickly ruled out.

Oakley’s mother Tracey Hallam-Baker, 33, described how she arrived at the £50-a-day Chapel Day Nursery in Bournemouth to find her son screaming in pain, with his burns wrapped in a fluffy blanket when they should have been under cold water.

He was in so much agony he had to be given morphine when he arrived at Poole Hospital. 

Oakley's mother Tracey Hallam-Baker, 33, described how she arrived at the £50-a-day Chapel Day Nursery in Bournemouth to find her son screaming in pain, with his burns (pictured) wrapped in a fluffy blanket when they should have been under cold water

Oakley’s mother Tracey Hallam-Baker, 33, described how she arrived at the £50-a-day Chapel Day Nursery in Bournemouth to find her son screaming in pain, with his burns (pictured) wrapped in a fluffy blanket when they should have been under cold water

Mrs Hallam-Baker, a compliance officer at financial services firm JP Morgan, claimed paramedics were shocked by his treatment and urged her and her husband Ricky to take action against the nursery over the incident on April 1, 2015.

Last week Bournemouth and Poole County Court agreed the nursery should pay the family £4,300. 

Some of that covers the cost of Oakley’s medication, special clothing and expenses such as hospital parking.

Oakley himself, who is now four, got £2,900 which has been put in a trust fund for him.

Recalling the day of the accident Mrs Hallam-Baker of Wimborne, Dorset, said: ‘Ricky called me and I went immediately from work. 

He was in so much agony he had to be given morphine when he arrived at Poole Hospital

He was in so much agony he had to be given morphine when he arrived at Poole Hospital

I drove like the worst driver in the world, overtaking everyone to get to my son.

‘Obviously I was furious when I got there and saw him. He was screaming in pain and sobbing his heart out. The burn was so red and it looked like it was bleeding.

‘It was massive and all the way down his arm. The ambulance hadn’t even arrived because the member of staff had said the burn was from a 20-minute old cup of tea. 

‘It turned out to be a fresh cup of tea. It should never have been left unattended in a room with two-year-olds.

‘He was wrapped in a fluffy blanket and they weren’t pouring cold water on his burn. The nursery said staff were first aid-trained but you are supposed to pour cold water continuously on to a burn.’

Last week Bournemouth and Poole County Court agreed the nursery (pictured) should pay the family £4,300

Last week Bournemouth and Poole County Court agreed the nursery (pictured) should pay the family £4,300

The Mail has seen copies of solicitors’ letters in which the nursery accepted liability and agreed to pay costs of £4,300.50.

At the time of the accident, Mrs Hallam-Baker was sent an email from a member of nursery staff admitting a teacher had ‘stupidly left the tea in reach’. It added: ‘The member of staff has been reprimanded and is so, so sorry.’

Oakley received treatment at a specialist unit in Salisbury Hospital and, although recovered from the burns, he still cannot take a hot bath and is struggling to get over the psychological damage the injury caused.

Last April Mrs Hallam-Baker ran the London marathon and raised £1,000 for the burns unit, nine months after giving birth to her second son Logan.

The nursery is now called Mighty Oaks Day Nursery and Preschool. It was approached for comment. 



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