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Mother upset after daughter leaves school with broken arm

A mother is outraged after her daughter is sent home from school with a broken arm patched up with a Band-Aid. The 7-year-old girl broke her arm during recess on a Columbia Public School playground. Her mother said the school misdiagnosed her daughter and failed to notify her of the injury.

Two Mile Prairie Elementary doesn’t have a full-time nurse, but CPS officials said the school does have four certified first aid employees. The girl’s mother, Dee Dee Smith, said the incident would have been handled much better if a nurse was on duty at the time of her daughter’s injury.

“My day care provider messaged me a picture of my daughter’s arm and said, “Were you aware of this? This doesn’t look right to me,” said Smith.

This was the first time Smith had heard about the incident, which was around two hours after it happened. Smith called the school asking why she hadn’t been notified and wanting to talk to a nurse, but the nurse on duty left two hours before the incident.

“CPS needs to have nurses in the schools the whole time the children are there. That could have prevented what happened with me not being contacted or the break not being realized,” said Smith.

CPS officials said there were two first aid certified employees that looked over Smith’s daughter, and at the time of the injury, the girl’s arm was not swollen or bruised.

“In this particular instance, it’s my understanding that when the child came, the child had a scrape and that particular scrape was assessed, there was a bandage applied and the child went on with their day,” said CPS spokesperson, Michelle Baumstark.

There are not full-time nurses stationed at every CPS school. CPS said there are many people on the staff that can administer first aid to children.

“You can’t ask your principal, your secretary, your coach, they’re already juggling their regular job. Then you want to put nurse duties on them as well,” said Smith.

CPS said the district does have 30 full-time nurses. All schools have at minimum a part-time nurse. Those that do have a part-time nurse also have two to three employees who are trained health providers.

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