A number of shocking complaints about Dublin creches have emerged, including a baby who suffered a scald on her back, a child who was found wandering unsupervised and another who digested significant amounts of playdough.
Careworkers were also criticised by the HSE for sterilising soothers in household disinfectants such as Dettol or Savlon -- which should not be ingested by children.
The majority of complaints from parents to the HSE, received by the Herald under the Freedom of Information Act, related to overcrowding and lack of supervision.
But a parent complained after her child had to attend hospital for a week following a scalding incident.
The baby had accidently pulled down a bottle warmer and had a scald wound on her back. The school said that measures had been taken to prevent this type of accident from happening.
In another incident, a young child managed to leave the creche unattended and was not discovered until 30 minutes later by a member of staff.
The area was located just minutes away from a busy dual carriageway.
But the response to the incident was prompt. The owner of the service shut it down for one week to address the complaint and put additional procedures in place to ensure children's health, safety and welfare. In addition, electric gates were put in place to prevent this happening in the future.
The complaints relate to the Dublin and mid-Leinster area within 2009, and one creche in Kildare was investigated for several reports about a slapping incident.