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What would you do? Nanny/injured child issue

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Nanny called me today as dh and I were driving home to inform me that dd had fallen in the kitchen (tile floor) and had a fat lip and did I want her to put an ice pack on it? I said yes, talked to dd on the phone a little bit to calm her down and assured them I would be home shortly (dh had school). When I got home, dd was still crying, has a huge bottom lip and was still bleeding-not profusely-steadily. I gave her some advil because it was clear that she was in pain by her cries. Nanny told me that she had been carrying dd, put her down on the floor, and next thing she knew, dd was toppling over. Sent nanny home, dd kept crying periodically and spitting a lot. Eventually I got a closer look inside her mouth to find that one of her top front teeth has been knocked pretty far back into her mouth. After several calls to pediatricians and dentists we all agree that for tonight she'll be okay (although I hate looking at it) and to take her into the dentist's office tomorrow. It bled for approximately four hours. I called nanny and left a message saying that I was going to stay home with dd and ds tomorrow and that she could stay home, we'd see her on Wednesday.

Here's my thing. Nanny must have lied about what happened. I am not at all fearful that she knowingly hurt dd. I do think it was an accident and that it could have happened to anybody. But the angle of dd's tooth, and the fact that it is only that one tooth makes me think dd was walking around with something in her mouth and fell and whatever she had was shoved into her mouth. That just makes me further believe that we are darn lucky that's all that happened. I feel like nanny must be scared, and I can sympathize, but I really need her to be honest about what happens, kwim? So I'm frustrated and confused and angry all at once.

There are other smaller issues with nanny, too surrounding things she is supposed to do that she does not do, such as cleaning up the dishes that she and the children generate during the day, etc., but this feels really major to me. I'm wondering if my children are safe with her. What are your opinions?
post #2 of 11
Thats a really tough one. I'd say TRUST your instinct on this, and see what the dentist says.

I've never felt comfortable with having a nanny take care of my kids, I'd rather have my children in a day care where there is MORE than just one adult, the teachers get breaks during the day, etc.... etc....

I'm so sorry this happened, I hope its not serious and the tooth can be saved!

post #3 of 11
I would also be upset that nanny wasn't telling you the whole truth. How can you trust nanny now? It sounds like you need to have a talk w/ nanny regardless what the dentist/ dr says about how she was injured. You don't pay her good money so you have to finish up some of her duties when you return home from work. Good Luck.

Jenni and Helon 6/29/02
post #4 of 11
If I were in your position, I would probably have a frank discussion with your nanny soon, at a time when you don't have to be rushing off to work or something, and when dh or someone can watch your daughter (or your daughter could otherwise be occupied). Nannies are expensive so they can devote their full attention to your child and so you can have a more significant say in the way your child is treated. It does sound like there may be more going on than meets the eye. I'd first ask your doctor whether s/he thinks the accident could have occurred as your nanny said it did. Maybe it's actually a reasonable possibility. If the doc doesn't believe it could've happened that way, then I'd give the nanny a performance review. I'd talk with your nanny about honesty, as well as about safety. I might or might not also take that time to discuss the little things that have been bothering you. I'd then see what happens thereafter.

If you're really and truly concerned that your nanny may be inadequately concerned about your child's safety, though, I don't know that a talk will do the trick. If I couldn't trust my nanny to be genuinely concerned about my daughter's safety, I don't think I'd retain her any longer. I've personally not had any issues where I suspected my nanny lied to me about safety issues. However, when safety issues have arisen, I've just pointed them out promptly and frankly to her, and she's made the appropriate changes (sometimes after having to tell her twice or more). I trust that my nanny is genuinely concerned about dd's safety, so it's not been a major issue.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I agree with what you all have to say. I do believe nanny is truly concerned with the safety of the children, but I think she has difficulty with forecasting events, if that makes sense. We've been working on increasing her skills in the other minor annoyance areas and she is very cooperative, although like you Marlena, it sometimes takes two or three times before she "gets it". I think I'll have her come in today, likely in the afternoon, to have a long discussion with her. I'm positive that dd fell with a sippy cup in her mouth. Her lip is shorn in a square area just the size of a sippy cup. It's much easier to see this morning, and I think a sippy cup is just the right thing to push in a tooth. But I do think asking the dentist what he thinks happened is really good advice and I'll definitely be taking that. I'll let you know what happens if you're interested.
post #6 of 11
I agree that you should definitely talk to your nanny so you'll feel more comfortable with the situation. However, I feel I should tell you that my 2 year old niece recently fell in her kitchen onto a tile floor and completely knocked out one front tooth, all other teeth were fine. Apparently it is possible to injure one tooth simply by falling onto the floor. I'm a firm believer in following your gut instinct, so you should discuss this further with the nanny, but keep in mind that it may be possible that she is telling the truth.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that. Nanny does need someone to stick up for her too. I was telling dh last night that I think he has blinders on regarding nanny (because it has decreased our stress level so much to have her here instead of taking the kids to the daycare they used to attend), and that I think I search incessantly for mistakes and errors because I'm jealous that she's home with my kids everyday. Overall she's wonderful. Our kids are thriving with her and happy. They are happy when we leave and happy when we return, and that speaks volumes to me about their overall care. But I do think she is selective with what she tells me because she's sometimes less than vigilant. argh. I'll talk to her today.
post #8 of 11
Hi! I've recently BTDT with our nanny. It wasn't to the extent of what happened to your dd, but I can definitely empathize. In our case, nanny took dd to the library and asked the security guard to watch her while she ran to the bathroom. I was shocked, furious and, ultimately, very concerned about nanny's judgment in watching dd. IN any case, after talking things over with her, she was very receptive to what I had to say. Our discussion also showed me that she genuinely cared for dd and that is a HUGE plus. Her judgment in that area wasn't exactly what I would have liked, but after I explained my position, she totally understood and was upset herself for not thinking about it that way. Basically, I really listened to my instincts about what happened to tell me how to proceed.

In your case, like everyone said, talk frankly with your nanny. Things happen even when mom and dad are around. AFter you talk to your dentist, to find out if it could have happened the way she said, bring it to her attention. Maybe she didn't see that dd had a sippy cup? Maybe her back was turned for too long? Maybe she needs to pay more attention? Maybe it did happen the way she said? In either case, let her know that you are concerned, but that you understand.

When another person is watching your child, the most precious person in your life, it is a very fine line that you walk between being an "employer" and a concerned parent. You don't want to insult her or scare her so she's not honest with you if something happens again. But, at the same time, you don't want to appear too lenient or lax. You need for her to tell you everything that happens and to always tell you the truth. I think being frank with her and talking about your concerns is a start. You can also ask her what you could do to make things easier on her or if she has suggestions that would help her. That way, she feels that she is involved, not just being ordered to do this or that. The way I look at it, the person that is watching your child is not just a "nanny," but almost an extended family member. They aren't just "watching" the children, but they are actually "parenting" for the time that the parents are away. So, you have to treat them with respect. At the same time, you need to set out the parameters. It's hard. I totally understand.

As far as the jealousy issue, I have BTDT too, with our first nanny. She was my age and was totally devoted to dd. At times, I felt that she was being more careful with dd than me. But, like you, I reminded myself over and over again, that I should be happy that dd was well cared for and content. Also, when I came home from work, as dd grew, I realized that dd always knew that I was mommy. That made me feel better. You too should feel good that your nanny is so good with the kids and that they like her. Good luck to you!


mama to little bobka (almost 14 months old)
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Libby. I do remember your post, and I couldn't believe it when I read it. What is it about that bad judgement? : I'm glad things worked out for you.

I took dd to the dentist. He tried to pull the tooth back into place and it won't move, so that's the way it stays for now. He thinks it's going to interfere with her bite, but that it might move forward a little bit to lessen the occlusion over time. If it abcesses, then "we'll either remove it or perform a root canal (I don't think so on the root canal! Yank it please!), but that would not likely happen for a year or more. So we sit and wait for now. It doesn't appear to be fractured.

I spoke briefly with nanny, who telephoned to see how dd was doing. I asked if she thought dd had had a cup in her mouth and she said she thought that was the case, and gave me a few more details on what happened. I told her I was very upset (partly because I lost the same tooth and I know how it feels), but that I understood it was an accident. I saved the rest for tomorrow when she returns.

At least it was a baby tooth, right?
post #10 of 11

I'm sorry to hear about dd's tooth. Is it something that is causing her pain? I hope not. I didn't know that teeth could get stuck at an angle like that. I really hope things work out with your nanny. Sounds like she was more forthcoming with you so maybe you can work things out with her. Good Luck to you!

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Libby.

Yes, it was causing her a great deal of pain in the initial 24 hours, particularly when she ate if the food had salt or citric acid (idiotic mommy). It looks much better today, and dh and I each independently thought it might be moving forward a little (the dentist said it might). It's definitely out of whack, but the swelling has decreased immensely, as has the bruising. Nanny is very contrite and called me today in the middle of a meeting to tell me that dd pooped on the potty, and was profusely apologetic this morning when she arrived. Hopefully there will be more vigilance, and we obviously have a new rule regarding sippy cups and walking around. :
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