CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

January 5, 2011

Chemicals Injure Children in Child Care Facilities: Abuse or Accident?


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHEMICALS INJURE CHILDREN IN CHILD CARE FACILITIES

Abuse or Accident?

     It reads nonsensical, almost SciFi: A child care worker places a Drano-soaked diaperon a seven-month-old girl, Brielle…burning her abdomen, backside and legs. Not mildly burning her—chemical burns are the worst—they eat the skin…and they worsen with exposure. . A lawyer representing the infant and her mother, Kimberly Spriggs, understates it mildly: This is clearly somebody’s negligence. Another understatement by Dr. Bruce Dixon, director of the Allegheny County Health Department: It’s unfortunate that this happened.

     Regardless of who brought the Drano into the Butterfly Garden Early Learning Center (McKees Rocks, Allegheny County, PA) December 30, 2010, no matter how the product managed to soak the Center’s diapers, a question remains: How does a person put a soaked diaper (regardless of the substance soaking it) on an infant in the first place? (Had the product been crystallized, the question still remains: How would one put a diaper on an infant if there were crystals of anything on the diaper?)

     The same newspaper reported that, in 2009, five former employees of the YMCA Child Development Center in South Connellsville (Fayette County, PA) punished eight children, between the ages of three and six, by feeding them alum.

     Alum, a toxic substance, is an odorless white crystal or powder used in baking powder, as a pickling salt, as a fire retardant, and in antiperspirant. Ingesting it can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Parents of the children described instances in which their children were sick and vomiting with flu-like symptoms.

     As a former provider of family child care, and as an initiator of a grant program training family day care providers, these incidents can only be described as abusive and abhorrent. Why would anyone subject children to these types of incidents, which are clearly avoidable and unacceptable?

     I know it’s not always possible for a parent to avoid substitute child care situations. But, as a parent, be diligent in your choices.

SOURCES:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_716592.html

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/dailycourier/s_716684.html

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Punishment or Neglect: Neither is Correct

ARE YOU PUNISHING OR DISCIPLINING YOUR CHILD?

Cruel and Unusual Punishment for Children

CHILD ABUSE AND SCRIPTURE

ANOTHER HORRIFYING HEADLINE

CHILDREN LEFT HOME ALONE (or in cars alone)

CHILD ABUSE DEFINITIONS

To read additional child abuse articles, click on the site category below:

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/category/child-abuse-issues/

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3 Comments »

  1. I have trouble with the description by the DA as a diaper “soaked” in Drano – if the diaper was soaked in liquid Drano, why would anyone put it on a child? You remove a wet diaper, you don’t put one on. Adults must be responsible when accidents like this happen. They are the ones who are supposed to know better!

    Comment by Fran Welts — January 5, 2011 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  2. You’re right, Fran. If the diaper was soaked, wouldn’t the worker who placed it on the infant have also burned her own hands???? Carolyn

    Comment by carolyncholland — January 5, 2011 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

  3. Perhaps, unless the worker is the one who spilled the Drano and knew where it was so avoided being burned herself. Too much of this story has yet to be discovered I think. The child underwent skin grafts but will forever be scarred. Very sad.

    Comment by Fran Welts — January 7, 2011 @ 10:56 am | Reply


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