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help what to do?
possible child neglect?

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#1 stressnless9

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:23 AM

step son has a pretty serious medical condition he spent a week in hospital and is on steriods for a few months, he is to be on a very low salt diet which should help it not to occur again (this can cause kidney failure if it gets bad enough)

we left him sunday with mother looking very well (we have completely changed the way the house eats just to suit him) he came back last night and while showering him (hes 2) we noticed his belly was huge - This is what happened to him while in hospital gained 4 kgs in fluid around belly face legs etc

DP calls his EX to find out if shes been feeding him properly to find out that day he had eaten hungry jacks (she says only 3 nuggets....if shes telling the truth those 3 nuggets are more than half of the salt hes allowed in the day) so he would have been way over the intake after breakfast dinner & snacks! shes also been feeding him processed meats (like ravioli) which are full of salt and he should not be eating it....ever. also meats from deli like kebabs (sauce is full of salt) the dietician came round while he was in hospital gave us all info on what he needs to be eating to stop him ending up back in hospital it quite clearly on the paper work says he needs to avoid those foods. we have even given her receipes that hes eating here that have basically NO salt at all in them but said shes too busy to try them. (it took me 5 minutes to cook these receipes and put them in the oven!!)

he is today to go back to her at 9am.......what the hell do we do? it is classed as some kind of child abuse not following through on medical advice....which is what it is isnt it?

or do we need to wait until hes taken back to hospital?! ughhhhhh hes 2 seriously!!!!!! hes sick!!!! he doesnt need HUNGRY JACKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

there is a court  order saying he needs to be back at 9am too....

Edited by stressnless9, 30 November 2012 - 08:24 AM.

#2 SnazzyFeral

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:39 AM

Yes it abuse and DOCs or equiv should be notified.

#3 Tooties

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

If you have a reasonable excuse for contravening orders, there is scope to withhold the child.  While she can still take you to court for it, if you've got everything backed up with medical evidence and a record of what he should be eating, why and what she has said she's fed him it may bring things to a head and result in the orders being changed to protect him.

How much contact does she have with him? Would she know when to take him to hospital if something critical happened? Should he go back to the doctors now, considering his physical state?

#4 Sue Heck

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:47 AM

Was his mother at the hospital when all the information was given out. If not maybe she doesn't realise how serious it is. That is really sad if she does know and just can't be bothered.
If she was I would contact his doctor and get him checked as then you will have medical evidence for whatever step you take next.

Edited by Helen Magnus, 30 November 2012 - 08:47 AM.

#5 MintyBiscuit

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

If he's showing similar symptoms to what had him in hospital, I'd be making a doctor's appointment and letting the mother know that she should meet you there. Perhaps you can all go in while he gets checked out and the doctor can reiterate the seriousness of the condition?

If the hospital visit and dietician advice was all done without the mother being involved, she may not realise quite how severe it is as a PP mentioned. I don't think I'd be reporting it to docs or equivalent just yet, but I wouldn't be just handing him back over at 9am without having him checked over and ideally getting the mother some information on how to manage his condition

ETA - I have no experience whatsoever with shared custody issues, so I don't know what the ramifications of not returning him at 9am would be

Edited by HollyOllyOxenfree, 30 November 2012 - 08:54 AM.

#6 Therese

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:53 AM

Can you make a doctors appointment for you all to attend together ? That way she can hear the information from someone else.

#7 stressnless9

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:54 AM

mother has him 10 nights a fortnight we have him 4 nights.she was the one in hospital with him for the week while we looked after other step DS and we would go visit.

so yes she knows damn well the seriousness of it all and what he should be eating.

#8 lynneyours

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:02 AM

I think you should contact your lawyer and request an urgent court date to have more access yourselves, until she can look after him properly.

Not sure why a mother would not have time to cook something for a 2 yr old that will not land him in hospital with kidney failure.  wacko.gif

Perhaps her Xmas gift from her son should be a low-salt cook book.  ph34r.gif

#9 Giota

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:04 AM

OMG that is so heartbreaking. The hardest thing about being a step parent is seeing them not being looked being looked after properly by the other parent.

Honestly I am not sure if DOCS will do much, sure it is within their guidelines but they are stretched to the limit but you should report.

How old is your step son? Can you  talk to him directly about his condition so he can make better decisions.

#10 stressnless9

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:06 AM

yes she was there while dietician was there but was rolling her eyes and pulling faces the whole time which i found very very strange.

she can call police and have them come collect children (they dont have to though apparatnley?) but we are trying to get it sorted b4 9 so she doesnt have a choice.

DP is on way home to take him to hospital to have him checked. the problem is if there is a problem the puffiness is only in the morning and drains downwards so sometimes u only know something is up by them being puffed up in morning by time u get appt to dr the fluid has gone down with gravity. so hospital is only option

#11 HerringToMarmalade

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:07 AM

I agree with making a doctor's appointment asap. Not only can she hear the information again, you will have some proof that his condition worsened in her care.

#12 Phascogale

Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:46 PM

DP is on way home to take him to hospital to have him checked.
This is what I was going to suggest.  

There should be grounds to enforce the diet as it is abuse.  But I'm not sure how you go about it. The difficulty is that he's 2.  If he was older then he may decide to not eat because of what it's doing to him (probably makes him feel crap) and have the capabilities for him to call you/his dad to come and get him (or give him something to eat or take him to the hospital...... again).

At the least, this needs documenting and it's what the hospital can do in their notes.  You can also ask to speak to their social worker (who will also document this) and will likely be able to advise you of what you can do.

DOCS probably won't be able to do anything and like PP said - they are stretched to the limit.  There may need to be a temporary order for him to reside with you as you comply with the diet or the mum may need to see a medical professional every day or so (in the morning as that's when the symptoms are worse) so there will be a quick visual check that will give some info on his salt intake.  Do symptoms occur quickly or is it a build up?  If

The only way to not return him at 9am is if he was in hospital (and the mum would probably meet you there).  I'm not sure of the ramifications of not complying with the order but it may end up worse than if you return him.

#13 Leggy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

Oh dear that's terrible OP! As per PPs, definitely tell the hospital about your concerns so it's in your medical notes, as to see the hospital social worker so it's documented there, and see a lawyer about a temporary protection order. I agree that DOCS may not be able to intervene due to their workload, but I would still report it to them - every time, if it happens again, and the hospital/GP too - so that it's all recorded. Hopefully she will either wise up to how important it is or you'll have evidence to get a change in court orders before any permanent damage is done  sad.gif

If it happens again, perhaps also photograph him and have that and the medical documents ready to show police, if she calls them in? Perhaps get a letter from the hospital or GP stating that feeding him salty foods is serious endagerment?

Please let us know how it goes!

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