The West

Police  investigate babys  appalling injuries
In hospital: The girl was admitted to Swan District Hospital. Picture: The West Australian

Relatives of a 20-month-old girl who had horrific unexplained injuries claim they raised concerns about her welfare with child protection workers months ago but nothing was done.

The toddler was suffering seizures and had injuries to almost every part of her body when she was admitted to Swan District Hospital on Thursday.

The injuries are understood to include two broken vertebrae in her neck, broken collar bones, a broken arm and a broken leg that appeared to have been injured at least two weeks before she was taken to hospital.

She also had a serious head injury and cuts to her face and hands.

Child abuse squad detectives are investigating the case but it is believed they are still waiting on doctors' reports to confirm how the injuries were caused.

For legal reasons, The West Australian cannot identify the child who - along with an older sister - is in the care of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support.

It is understood the girl lived with her 23-year-old mother, who is estranged from the child's 20-year-old father. He is employed as a fly-in, fly-out worker and claims he was not in Perth at the time the injuries happened.

His relatives told The West Australian that they were aware of at least three occasions when concerns for the safety of the girl and her sister had been raised with authorities.

The girl's father claims he took her to hospital in February after noticing other unexplained injuries but doctors did not tell police because they could not agree if the injuries were the result of physical abuse.

The family have written to Child Protection Minister Helen Morton outlining their concerns.

The letter says: "We as a family are totally outraged and devastated that one of our youngest members is lying in hospital today with injuries so severe that even hospital staff are saying it's the worst they have seen in a baby who has survived."

Mrs Morton has responded to the letter, telling the family that she is closely monitoring the case.

A spokesman for the department said last night that their records showed only one instance where concerns were raised about the child's welfare and it related to hygiene issues.

The department met the girl's mother and found the children "presented well" and showed "no physical or emotional concerns".

It is believed the girl is recovering from her injuries and is awake and able to speak.

The West Australian

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