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Childcare centre fined for burning toddlers' feet during fire drill

Childcare centre fined for burning toddlers' feet during fire drill

A childcare centre in Perth has been fined after three toddlers sustained severe burns to their feet after participating in a fire drill.

The fire drill was conducted on a hot summers day where temperatures reached 36 degrees and the children were not wearing socks or shoes.

Two of the children required hospitalisation after the drill.

Western Australia’s Department of Communities found that the synthetic lawn and soft-fall rubber outdoor surface might have contributed to the severity of the burns.

Department of Communities assistant director-general Brad Jolly said childcare centres and staff needed to remain particularly vigilant during hot weather.

“This is the second childcare service operator to be brought before the State Administrative Tribunal following a child being burnt by hot outdoor surfaces,” he said.

“Childcare service operators need to take this as a strong reminder that they must have clear procedures in place so that play surfaces, play equipment, and walkways are checked regularly on hot days to ensure children are not injured.

“Some materials used in outdoor matting and playground structures can get very hot, very quickly and can remain hot for some hours.”