A Laval family is furious after an accident at their daughter’s daycare left her with a partially amputated toe. It happened after a storage unit fell on the toddler’s foot.
The education ministry is investigating and the parents are fighting to raise awareness about safety.
“I don’t want other kids to have the same problem, that same accident,” the toddler’s mother Arianna Farinola said.
Two-year-old Sofia Gomez is still recovering from an accident that completely crushed her baby toe nine months ago.
The incident happened at the toddler’s daycare, CPE Les Mouches à feu in the Lombric-à-Brac installation last November after a small storage unit fell and crushed her toe. Doctors at Ste-Justine hospital were forced to partially amputate it, leaving her unable to walk and in a cast for one month.
“The bone was broken, at the end of the little toe was completely broken — the nerve was broken, no nerve, no nothing so it was an open fracture,” her father Leonardo Gomez told Global News.
Sofia needed intensive occupational therapy to get back on her feet and her parents were forced to take months off work. The daycare’s insurance company agreed to help cover the costs. But her parents are still searching for answers.
“It’s not a normal accident. Something really bad happened. How come nobody reacted,” Gomez said. “Nobody explained what really happened to Sofia.”
Quebec’s education ministry launched an investigation and the storage unit in question has been removed. But Sofia’s parents claim they were never told why it wasn’t bolted to the wall and why their daughter wasn’t wearing shoes at the time.
The daycare director told Global News the storage unit was being used as a divider in the middle of the room and that the educator in charge was busy changing another child’s diaper when the unit fell.
“We’re deeply devastated over what happened,” the CPE’s director Sylvie Matte said while adding that the investigation should provide more answers. She explained that the toddler wasn’t wearing shoes as it was just after nap-time.
Companies like Ikea recently recalled furniture after four children were crushed to death.
The storage unit that fell on Sofia wasn’t from Ikea, but while shopping for new daycares, her father noticed it’s a commonly-used piece of furniture.
“I saw while visiting different private and public daycares that there are many storage units not fixed to the wall and it’s very dangerous,” Gomez said.
Sofia’s family has launched an online petition calling for increased safety in daycares. They hope educators and parents everywhere think twice before moving furniture around and bolt it to the wall whenever possible.