(WSVN) - A South Florida mother says when she got a call from her baby’s day care, she was not prepared for what she would see, and now she has a warning for other parents. Karen Hensel has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Mom: “He’s a happy baby. Everybody who meets him loves him.”
As a working mom, this is all part of the morning rush, just trying to get her 11-month old-son Malaki out the door to day care.
Mom: “I dropped him there around 9 o’clock in the morning before I received the phone call.”
It was the phone call every parent dreads. Something had happened at day care.
Still distressed over what you are about to see, the mom asked we not show her face.
Mom “They said that, ‘Hey, Malaki had a little incident, that the bottle warmer fell, and the water splashed and spilled on his leg, and he has three little bumps, but it’s minor.’ You know, I didn’t have to leave work. ‘It’s OK. They put cold water on it and burning cream on it.'”
She asked the day care to send a photo, but when it didn’t arrive, she went to see for herself.
Turns out the three little bumps were actually blisters, and there were much larger burn blisters on his stomach, chest, neck and face.
She raced him to the hospital where doctors treated him for second-degree burns.
Mom: “I don’t even know how he felt in that moment. I can imagine him screaming, but I don’t know how long was he screaming for, so I definitely feel like he was failed, of course, 1,000%.”
While she understands accidents can happen, she questions why no one from the day care called 911 for medical help.
Mom: “Nobody was called — no police officers, fire rescue — so it’s like, they’re not doctors. How do they know that that was the correct protocol to heal him?”
Karen Hensel: “Would you feel differently if the day care had said to you, ‘It’s serious?'”
Mom: “Correct, and put some urgency behind it.”
But they didn’t, so she took the next step and called authorities.
Mom: “Nobody was called, so I made the police report. I contacted [the Florida Department of Children and Families] to report it, because I know, as a mother, if I would have made a scratch on his skin, or if I would have burned him, DCF would have been called on me.”
The state of Florida issues a child care handbook requiring facilities to “…have a written plan for reporting and managing any incident…” which includes “injuries or illness requiring hospitalization or emergency treatment.”
And there is a section devoted just to bottle warmers, stating they “…must be kept inaccessible to children…” and secured “…to prevent them from tipping over, splashing or spilling.”
DCF is now investigating, but this mom has her own message.
Mom: “Definitely to check the background of the school. Unfortunately, I did not.”
The day care is licensed but has been cited for violations, including not conducting required monthly fire drills for 17 months.
Mom: “I’m sending him to a school now that has cameras, so now I can log in onto the app and then see how, you know, he is doing throughout the day. So it’s a little, you know, a little ease.”
If you are looking for a day care, always check to be sure that they are licensed and if they have had any violations by going online.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
DCF day care facility search
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