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

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. This incident occurred when Carson, the last in line to use the toilet, found himself abandoned by his group.

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

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook

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.

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 Morhulac and his mother, Clare Hodge | Source: Facebook

Carson Morhulac and his mother, Clare Hodge | Source: Facebook

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.

“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.

Carson Morhulac | Source: Facebook

Carson Morhulac | Source: Facebook

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.

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

Carson Morhulec and his father, Jake Morhulec | Source: Facebook

Carson Morhulec and his father, Jake Morhulec | Source: Facebook

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.’

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook

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.

Carson Morhulec and his mother, Clare Hodge | Source: Facebook

Carson Morhulec and his mother, Clare Hodge | Source: Facebook

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.

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook

“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

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook

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

The incident involving Carson Morhulec 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.

Carson Morhulec and his mother, Clare Hodge | Source: Facebook

Carson Morhulec and his mother, Clare Hodge | Source: Facebook

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.

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.

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook

Carson Morhulec | Source: Facebook

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