Childcare centre fined for formula-induced anaphylaxis

Savannah Meacham |

A Brisbane childcare operator has been fined after an infant was given the wrong baby formula.
A Brisbane childcare operator has been fined after an infant was given the wrong baby formula.

A Queensland childcare centre company has been fined after a baby was given the wrong formula and suffered a severe allergic reaction.

An “inexperienced and unqualified” educator at Rochedale Kids Early Learning Centre, south of Brisbane, was looking after five babies aged between 11 and 15 months while the primary worker was at lunch in December 2022.

One of the children was given the wrong baby formula and had a severe anaphylactic reaction.

The baby was given an epinephrine injection before being taken to hospital.

The child has since fully recovered.

The incident was referred to the Early Childhood Regulatory Authority’ which found the worker watching the babies was not adequately inducted or trained in the centre’s policies and procedures.

The owner of the centre, Rochedale Enterprises Pty Ltd, was charged for failing to protect children from harm, to adequately supervise children and to ensure staff followed service policies and procedures.

It pleaded guilty to the three charges.

The Department of Education said Magistrate Sue Ganasan considered the company’s previous good compliance history and character at Holland Park Magistrates Court on Thursday.

She said there were sufficient policies and procedures in place to prevent the incident but not enough training was provided to staff.

Ms Ganasan also noted it was lucky the baby had not suffered long-lasting injury due to the incident.

The company was fined $24,000 but no conviction was recorded.

The Department of Education said the fine reflected the seriousness of the incident and the risk of death to children who are not properly supervised.

The department was awarded $1351 in costs.