Pre-school denies 3-year-old girl suffered 'horrific bruise' on her ear on its premises; police investigating

Photos posted on Facebook show the girl's ear had turned a deep purple colour, with some peeling skin. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/CLAUDIA KWAN

SINGAPORE - The police are investigating after a woman lodged a report in which she claimed her three-year-old daughter had returned from pre-school with a bruise and swelling on her right ear.

However, the school - which The Straits Times understands is located in Ang Mo Kio - has denied that the girl suffered the bruise on its premises.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times on Monday (March 12), the school said in a statement that it had carried out its own investigations on the Feb 14 incident.

"By reviewing CCTV footage and conducting interviews with relevant members of our staff, we did not find any incident or circumstances that could have caused those injuries in the kindergarten," it added.

The girl's mother, Ms Claudia Kwan, wrote about the incident in a Facebook post last Saturday. The post, which contained photos of the "horrific" bruise, quickly went viral.

Ms Kwan said her husband had discovered the bruise after picking up their daughter from school. When asked about it at home, the girl broke down in tears.

She claimed that when she called the school, none of the teachers were able to explain what happened.

Ms Kwan then took her daughter to a paediatrician, who diagnosed the injury "as a form of traumatic bruising that was caused by the exertion of great intentional force, and not a result of insect bites or drug allergies".

She subsequently informed the school of the diagnosis and made a police report, before making a visit to a second paediatrician - who classified the bruise as a non-accidental injury - the next day.

In its statement to ST, the school said a teacher who carried out daily health checks on the children on the morning of Feb 14 had first found bruises below the girl's eye, which Ms Kwan told the school was caused by an accident at home involving her son.

About two hours later, another teacher noticed a bruise on the girl's ear, but the girl had similarly claimed she had been accidentally hurt by her brother at home.

As this was consistent with Ms Kwan's explanation of the earlier bruises, the school did not take immediate action to inform her about the girl's bruised ear, it added in the statement.

In a phone call with Ms Kwan that afternoon, the school told her that her daughter had "behaved normally in school" and they were unaware of any incident that could have caused the bruises on her ear.

The police contacted the school that evening, and "since then, we have been extending our fullest cooperation on its investigations", the school said.

"We also note that she returned to kindergarten on the next day and enjoyed the Chinese New Year celebrations with her friends," it added

Ms Kwan, however, disputed the school's statement in another Facebook post on Monday afternoon.

She explained that the bruise on the girl's cheek was a fading one from a week ago when her brother accidentally bumped into her while he was exercising.

"The bruise was so faded that it's not very obvious. It's very different from the fresh horrific bruise on her ear," she added.

The police confirmed with ST on Sunday that a report was lodged on Feb 14.

"Investigations are ongoing and the investigation officer has updated Ms Claudia Kwan on the status," said a spokesman.

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