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Carson Morhulec and his mother, Clare Hodge | Source: facebook.com/clare.hodge1
Carson Morhulec and his mother, Clare Hodge | Source: facebook.com/clare.hodge1

4-Year-Old Boy Left behind by Nursery Staff at Wildlife Park during Trip

Caitlin Farley
Jun 28, 2024
08:35 A.M.

A four-year-old boy named Carson Morhulec was left behind at the Scottish Deer Centre following a nursery trip organized by Dunmore Nursery in Lochgelly, Scotland.

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Carson and eight other children from Dunmore Nursery went to the Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar on an end-of-year outing on Friday, June 21. Unfortunately, Carson ended up being left behind when the group departed.

According to the boy's mother, Clare Hodge, all the children were asked to go to the bathroom before boarding the bus to return home.

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook/Clare Hodge

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook/Clare Hodge

Carson was the last child to use the bathroom. None of his classmates or the teachers were present when he exited, which he initially believed was a prank. However, he eventually realized they had left him behind.

Carson was left alone for approximately 40 minutes before a kind man discovered him standing by the toilets, crying.

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The man, after realizing the young boy was alone and distressed, quickly took Carson to the deer center office. The staff at the Scottish Deer Centre immediately contacted Dunmore Nursery to inform them about the missing child.

Carson's mother was both astonished and distressed by the incident. "The what if’s that have run round my head all weekend is unreal," she stated in a Facebook post.

In the same post, she goes on to express her disbelief that the nursery staff could lose track of her son, especially given the small size of the group.

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"Now the worst part of this whole experience for me has been the fact that there were only 9 kids on this trip and 3 teachers. A ratio of 3 kids to 1 adult and they still managed to lose one and be unaware," she shared.

According to Ms. Hodge, she was informed that a robust risk assessment is in place, which should have seen the teachers supervising the visit conducting at least two headcounts before leaving the wildlife park.

However, Ms. Hodge states that the staff did not follow this protocol. She says that instead, the staff relied on verbal confirmation from the children on the bus, asking them whether everyone was present.

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The children responded affirmatively, and the bus departed, leaving Carson behind.

In response to the incident, Fife Council, the local authority of the Fife region in Scotland, has launched an investigation.

MailOnline contacted the nursery school, but they declined to comment and instead referred them to the Fife Council.

Shelagh McLean, the head of service at Fife Council, told MailOnline, "First of all I'd like to apologize wholeheartedly to the child and their family for what happened on Friday. We are treating this incident extremely seriously and an investigation is underway into how this happened.'

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Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook/Jake Morhulec

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook/Jake Morhulec

Ms. McLean stated that immediate action was taken as soon as Carson was noted as missing. The school contacted Carson's parents and the Care Inspectorate to report the incident.

The council is now reviewing existing policies and procedures to identify areas for improvement to prevent such incidents in the future.

However, this occurrence has raised significant concerns, especially given the recent rise in reported cases of children leaving early years centers unaccompanied in Scotland mentioned by the BBC.

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Ms. Hodge remarked in her Facebook post that "Fife council already made this mistake in 2015 with a boy from a nursery in Dunfermline and apparently, a similar incident occurred recently in Dunfermline again. Clearly, mistakes are not being learned from by Fife Council."

The shocking nature of Carson's ordeal has resonated with many, as can be seen in the comments on her Facebook post.

"Omg that is disgusting! I am glad Carson is safe and ok." One commenter said.

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"Oh my God, Clare Hodge, my heart sank reading this. Your poor little boy. I'd be absolutely fuming, which I know you will be." Added another.

A third commenter stated, "Wow unbelievable. Three adults can't count nine kids. Take that all the way. That's a parent's worst nightmare, I feel sick reading that. Hope your boy's ok."

Other comments have supported her decision to speak out about this ordeal, with one person saying, "...you take it where it needs to go, that should never have happened and hopefully it can be stopped from doing so again."

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook/Jake Morulec

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook/Jake Morulec

Ms. Hodge's account of the event serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers when safety protocols are not thoroughly followed.

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The incident involving Carson at the Scottish Deer Centre underscores the crucial need for stringent safety measures and thorough risk assessments in early years education.

It also highlights the emotional toll such incidents can take on families, reminding us all of the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of our children at all times.

As Fife Council continues its investigation and reviews its policies, the hope is that lessons will be learned and improvements made to prevent any child from experiencing what Carson went through.

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This incident should serve as a catalyst for change, ensuring that all nurseries and schools implement and adhere to the highest standards of safety for their pupils.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like this one about how a thrilling summer camp adventure turned disastrous for one family.

6-Year-Old New Jersey Boy Dies on First Day of Pricey Summer Camp He Was Eagerly Anticipating

What began as a thrilling summer adventure for young Michael Stewart turned into a devastating loss. The unexpected incident has stirred grief and concern over the camp’s safety measures, prompting a thorough investigation.

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A tragic incident unfolded at Liberty Lake Day Camp in Burlington County, New Jersey, on Monday, as six-year-old Michael Jeffrey Stewart drowned on the first day of summer camp. The heartbreaking news has left a family grieving and a community in shock.

Enjoli and Michael Stewart seen in a photo, dated June 26, 2024 | Source: Facebook/Kayla Ogletree

Enjoli and Michael Stewart seen in a photo, dated June 26, 2024 | Source: Facebook/Kayla Ogletree

Michael's mother, Enjoli Stewart, expressed her devastation and disappointment with the camp. "Liberty Lakes messed up. Big time. And now I don’t have a son anymore. That's heartbreaking," she told FOX 29.

Michael had been eagerly anticipating his first day at the camp, unaware that it would be the last day of his life. He was supposed to be at the camp for several weeks, for which Enjoli had spent thousands of dollars. She said:

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"I did everything I could to make sure he got placed into the right school and the right camp."

Michael Stewart smiling for pictures, dated June 25, 2024 | Source: Facebook/En Jolie

Michael Stewart smiling for pictures, dated June 25, 2024 | Source: Facebook/En Jolie

The incident occurred during the afternoon swim period for campers entering first and second grades.

According to camp officials, a lifeguard found Michael unresponsive in a shallow pool, pulled him out of the water, and administered CPR.

Despite efforts to revive him, Michael was pronounced dead at a local hospital later that day.

Michael's entry into this world was a battle. Born as a micro-preemie at 23 weeks and weighing only one pound and three ounces, doctors did not expect him to survive.

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However, with his mother's relentless advocacy and faith, Michael defied the odds and grew into an intelligent, loving, and caring boy. His resilience and love of learning endeared him to everyone who knew him.

"Michael taught me how to fight and he taught me to fight without using my hands," Enjoli said. "He taught me how to fight in a different manner."

Michael was particularly fond of his younger sister Layla, and they played basketball and baseball together. Enjoli said her son was "extremely smart," and had a large vocabulary.

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Layla and Michael Stewart having a meal, dated June 26, 2024 | Source: Facebook/Kayla Ogletree

Layla and Michael Stewart having a meal, dated June 26, 2024 | Source: Facebook/Kayla Ogletree

She described him as a kid who was interested in learning new things. Piano classes were the next thing on his summer to-do list.

Liberty Lake Day Camp, which opened for the summer on the day of the incident, expressed their grief in a statement.

Camp founder Andy Pritikin wrote, “All of us at Liberty Lake Day Camp are devastated and grieving over the tragic passing of our young camper. This senseless tragedy took a life that was far too young. There are no words that feel appropriate enough to capture our heartache and mourning.”

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Michael’s mother was recounting her son’s excitement about the camp to a coworker when she received the tragic news.

"Someone asked me how my day was going and I told them about Michael and how Michael fell asleep the night before with his goggles on," she said, "and he was excited about swimming and then my phone rang and I was told I needed to rush to Mount Holly-Virtua."

The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and Mansfield Township police are investigating the incident. An autopsy was performed on Tuesday by the Burlington County medical examiner.

Michael Stewart and Layla enjoying food, dated June 26, 2024 | Source: Facebook/Kayla Ogletree

Michael Stewart and Layla enjoying food, dated June 26, 2024 | Source: Facebook/Kayla Ogletree

Enjoli has raised concerns about the camp’s safety protocols. She mentioned that Michael, a beginner swimmer, was supposed to participate in an instructional swim class that did not happen.

She also stated that Michael was assigned a one-on-one aide who was supposed to be with him around the clock, but that person is still employed at the camp.

Pritikin acknowledged that staffers usually do not conduct instructional swim classes on the first day of camp.

Click here to read the rest of this story.

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