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Holiday sickness leaves lasting effects on toddler

A toddler, who was making good progress toilet training, was so ill whilst on holiday he will no longer use the potty.

Severe stomach cramps

The two year old, who fell ill at a Spanish holiday resort, went through fifty nappies in just seven days after suffering with severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

His parents, Nicola Beaumont and Craig Mitchell, also fell ill whilst staying at the 3* Sur Menorca Hotel, in the Punta Prima area of Menorca.

Whilst the family from Rotherham have now recovered from their symptoms, which included stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting, they claim the holiday has had lasting effects on their son.

Nicola said:

“Our son was doing well with his potty training up until the holiday. However, he was so ill he got through two whole packets of nappies in less than a week. I think this experience has left him slightly traumatised as he won’t go near the potty now.”

To add insult to injury, Thomson – the company through which the holiday was booked, offered the family £80 in vouchers or a £60 cheque after they complained. The family have since sought legal advice and instructed Hampson Hughes Solicitors to seek compensation on their behalf after the holiday they’d saved for and looked forward to, was ruined.

‘The food was the worst part’

According to Nicola, hygiene standards within the hotel restaurant were poor. She told the team at Hampson Hughes Solicitors that the sausages available at breakfast were the hotdogs from the night before, only reheated, and raw chicken was served numerous times.

Photograph of the inside of a raw chicken nugget taken by Nicola at the Sur Menorca Hotel.

Photograph of the inside of a raw chicken nugget taken by Nicola at the Sur Menorca Hotel.

Mouldy bread

On one occasion, Nicola gave her toddler a hamburger from the snack bar, only to have to snatch it back when she noticed the inside of the bread bun was covered in mould. Nicola commented:

“The food was the worst part. For a 3*+ rated hotel I wasn’t expecting gourmet food every day. What I was expecting – quite wrongly it seemed – was properly cooked food, free from bugs and other items.”

After falling ill, both adults were unable to leave their room for a number of days and their son became very distressed. When they tried to speak to hotel staff about their illness, the couple were offered hand sanitizer and were told a hotel doctor could be called, at a cost of 60 Euros.

Other guest complaints

Nicola told Hampson Hughes Solicitors that other guests eating in the restaurant were experiencing similar issues, with several guests reporting glass inside jelly served to their children.

She also claims that one family was asked to leave the restaurant when they were caught taking photographs of the raw chicken they had been served.

Photograph taken by Nicola of the pool at the Sur Menorca Hotel.

Photograph taken by Nicola of the pool at the Sur Menorca Hotel.

Return to UK

Since returning from holiday Nicola has noticed complaints were not confined to her and the people she spoke with whilst abroad. A number of guests staying at the hotel at the same time as her and her family have expressed their disappointment via the holiday review site, Trip Advisor.

The reviews include multiple complaints of sickness and diarrhoea, an unclean restaurant and one guest even claimed that there had been faeces in the swimming pool which staff did nothing about.

There are also more reports of raw and substandard food with one guest even including photographs of a caterpillar that he found in his child’s dinner.

‘Overall, very disappointed’

From start to finish the family experienced problems. Upon first arriving at the hotel reception desk they say they were left disappointed when they had to struggle with three suitcases and a pram. They felt even more let down when the cleanliness of their room fell short of acceptable standards. Nicola told Hampson Hughes Solicitors:

“I could tell that the sheets hadn’t been changed once, as my son dropped a piece of chocolate on his bed at the start of the week and it was still there when we left.”

Things got worse when they arrived at the pool, which they said was ‘filthy’, with the water itself looking as though it was not cleaned regularly. Nicola continued:

“The pools weren’t clean; there were scum marks around the sides of the main pool and in the splash park for children. What’s more, leftover food and spilled drinks from the entertainment the night before was also left to rot around the pool area the following day. It was disgusting.”

Speaking about their overall experience at the Hotel Sur Menorca Nicola said:

“Craig and I are both very disappointed that our first holiday with our two year old son was ruined – no one wants to have to run to the loo constantly or be stuck in the rooms for days.

“Never in my life have I been on holiday and wanted to go home after three days. We were especially disappointed as we feel Thomson or the hotel didn’t care at all.”

Package holiday claims – specialist advice

Shiamli Mehta-Cronie, who heads up the Travel Law department at Hampson Hughes Solicitors said:

“This case of holiday sickness was clearly very distressing for the family but sadly not uncommon. I am acting for hundreds of holidaymakers who have also experienced illness abroad.

“In the majority of cases the problem is down to substandard food hygiene at hotels, an issue which can leave British tourists wishing they hadn’t bothered travelling at all.

“However, you can take legal action if you feel more could have been done to prevent your becoming ill. The Package Travel Regulations protect holidaymakers who book package holidays through reputable tour operators such as Thomson, First Choice and Thomas Cook.

“If this applies to you then we’d encourage you to get in touch. Being confined to your room with diarrhoea and vomiting as a result of poor hygiene is unacceptable and action can be taken.”

Start your holiday illness claim today

If you believe that your tour operator could have done more to prevent your symptoms of illness or injury, contact us today. Whether you have experienced illness or injury during your flight, whilst staying in your package deal hotel, or during an excursion arranged by a company working in conjunction with your tour operator, we can help. For further information, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com

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