A mum-of-three is raising awareness of the "stress and trauma" her family experienced after she showed a health visitor a small mark on her newborn's wrist, in the hope a similar ordeal doesn't happen to another family.

Ellese Griffiths' son, Teddy, was two weeks old when she showed a small bruise on his wrist to a health visitor on a routine home visit.

She said: "I explained that, when he gets hungry, he sucks on his hand or arm. Most babies do this, as it’s natural. It looked like a 'hickey'. It was a small mark."

Ellese says the health visitor watched Teddy sucking his arm, but said she still had to inform children's services of the bruise.


"Children's services called me and told me I had to take him to A&E at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, as a doctor wanted to see it," Ellese said. "After being checked, we were told I had to stay in hospital and, if I left, the police were going to be called.

"The doctors also watched him sucking his arm. One doctor even said she could see his gum mark."

However, Ellese says she was told Teddy must have blood tests, CT scans, X-rays, and to have the back of his eyes looked at.

"This was to see if he had any bleeds on the brain or any broken bones," she explained.


"We had to watch our tiny newborn screaming from blood tests, having drops put into his eyes, being woken and prodded every couple of hours, and laying in a CT machine. We watched all this knowing there was nothing wrong with him.

"His blood tests had to be repeated three times, leaving him bruised so badly on his hands that they were black."

Ellese says she and Teddy were forced to stay in hospital for three days.

"I completely understand bruises found on a baby need to be explored, but our baby was showing them what he had done," she said.

"The tests were all clear and our baby is healthy."


Ellese, who works in care, added: "I am mortified I have been accused of harming my baby.

"I’ve never had child services involved with me or my children. My eldest is nine and my middle one is two. They are thriving. Teddy is thriving.

"We were put through all this stress for no reason. Not only the stress and pain for our poor baby, but the trauma and stress on me and his dad that we will never ever get over, and the upset this has caused my daughters. One minute they have a new baby brother they adore and the next minute he is gone, and their mummy has gone too.

"It’s brilliant they are making sure babies are safe but, from a mark you can clearly see he has done himself, he should not have been put through all that, and neither should we.

"I want mums to be aware of this, so this does not happen to them. The thought of this happening to anyone else, especially a young mum or first time mum, is terrifying."


In a letter to Ellese from the Children's Services' Joint Child Protection Investigation Team, seen by the Comet, it says: "Lister Hospital reported that the marks to Teddy's wrist could be consistent with the account, but they were unable to rule out non-accidental injury being the cause.

"However, during the course of the assessment, no further safeguarding concerns were noted for your family and, as such, on the balance of probability, it does not appear that the marks on Teddy's arm were intentionally inflicted, and that Teddy himself is most likely to have caused them through sucking motion."

Hertfordshire County Council has been approached for comment.