A Fife nursery worker has received a warning after slapping a toddler on the hand.
The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) said Syeeda Ramzan had committed a breach of trust and had “physically and emotionally harmed” the infant, who was 21 months old at the time.
Ms Ramzan was sanctioned with a warning, which will remain on her registration for 18 months, following the incident in August last year at Appin Nursery in Dunfermline.
She was also told to complete further training.
In her favour, the SSSC said Ms Ramzan had co-operated with its inquiry and had no previous history of concerning behaviour.
She was said to have continued working for a short period following the incident, during which no concerns were raised, and to have provided three positive references.
However, in it decision letter the authority said slapping a child on the hand, which Ms Ramzan did twice, was “particularly serious” and found her fitness to practise was impaired.
The SSSC said: “You were trying to stop one child hurting another child but went about it the wrong way.
“Slapping a child on the hand to stop another child being hurt is not appropriate. You were entrusted to look after young children and by slapping a child on the hand you breached this trust.”
Ms Ramzan also threw a sensory ball, which hit the toddler in the face and caused the child to cry.
“Children are meant to feel safe and secure and protected from harm while in the care of social service workers,” said the SSSC.
“Slapping a child on their hand and throwing a sensory ball at them would be likely to cause them fear and risk of injury.
“Throwing a sensory ball towards a young child showed disregard to the safety and welfare of that child. You were trying to distract this young child but by throwing the sensory ball you were reckless as you failed to take into account the risk of causing harm to this young child.”
The nursery worker was described as showing “limited insight into some of the behaviour” and maintained that slapping the child’s hand was “appropriate”.
The SSSC added: “The lack of insight does raise the risk that this behaviour might be repeated.
“You physically and emotionally harmed someone who was entrusted in your care and the public must be protected from such risks.
“The public must also have confidence in the SSSC as the regulator to take appropriate action to prevent such behaviour in the future.”
Ms Ramzan accepted the warning and condition last month.
The nursery did not want to comment.