Focus on climbing frame in baby brain injury probe

A police cordon remains around the house in Limefield as the investigation continues. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

A police cordon remains around the house in Limefield as the investigation continues. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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POLICE investigating how a tot came to be hospitalised with a brain injury have been examining a climbing frame in the childminder’s garden.

The probe into how the 14-month-old came to be seriously injured focused on the garden toy as well as a set of steps at the front door.

It is not known how the toddler came to be injured.

Emergency services were called to a house in Limefield, a cul-de-sac in Gilmerton, at around 1.30pm on Saturday.

The boy was found to be seriously ill with head injuries. He was taken to the Sick Kids and is now in a stable condition. It is understood the boy had been in the care of childminder Halima Nassif when the emergency services were called.

Detectives are investigating “various” possibilities, including that the child had fallen.

Neighbours witnessed the child being carried to an ambulance shortly after emergency services arrived. One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “All of the neighbours are shocked at what has happened.

“Police were looking at a large climbing frame in the garden and a trampoline too. They also spent a lot of time at the front door and took photos.

“They won’t let anybody down by the side of house and won’t tell neighbours anything.”

A police cordon was put in place at 11pm on Saturday and officers remained at the scene yesterday afternoon.

Ms Nassif declined to comment on the investigation.

The mother-of-two is registered with the Scottish Childminding Association and charges £4.50 per hour to look after children up to the age of 12.

She lists her experience as a “creche worker” and claims to be qualified in child development, child protection and first aid. Her website states: “I decided to take up childminding as I would benefit of having the luxury to stay at home and bring my children up as well as helping out parents who work themselves. I understand how important a childminder is to the parent and the child.”

Ms Nassif has been a registered childminder since 2002.

Last year, the Care Inspectorate, which regulates childminding services, gave Ms Nassif a glowing report.

Author Howard Armstrong said: “Ms Nassif provides a professional and caring service to children. She is very flexible in approach and this is appreciated by parents.”

All aspects of the care provided by Ms Nassif were described as “very good’”.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with NHS Lothian and the local authority to fully explore the circumstances of how this child was injured.

“Investigations of this nature are sensitive and complex and it is being approached in an open-minded manner to help us fully understand what happened, which may take some time. No person has been arrested. The child remains in a stable condition.”