Mashed potatoes burn child at day care

February 12, 2008 6:10:54 PM PST
A Cumberland County mother is looking for answers after her 14-month-old suffered multiple burns on her hands and her face.

Melisa Lester says her daughter, Savannah, received the burns after putting her hands in a hot plate of mashed potatoes. The incident happened at the Pamper, Hugs and Luv's day care center on Sand Hill Road.

The owner of the center says food has to be prepared to state standards to kill germs.

Lester says mashed potatoes that can cause those kinds of burns should not be served to a 14-month-old.

"When I got home from work, I come in to that yellow piece of paper telling me that my child had been physically burnt," Lester said.

She is extremely upset and says Savannah suffered first-, second- and third-degree burns Monday on her hands and face.

"And they said how it happened was they had put a plate of mashed potatoes on the table and she pulled them off and then reached down and got her hands in them," Lester said.

She took Savannah to the doctor, who says the child's first reaction after burning her hands was probably to grab her face. The doctor says that explains the first-degree burns on her cheeks.

"They didn't call 911, they didn't call the doctor, they didn't call me," Lester And this was eight hours later. It happened at 10:35 in the morning."

The day care's owner says they didn't need to call 911.

"When the incident immediately occurred, there were just no signs that 911 need to be called," owner Kim McAllister said.

She feels she took appropriate actions.

"Running water was applied for about 10 minutes and also later I got a pail and submerged the child hands in water, just trying to figure out what comfort level she was at," McAllister explained.

Lester says the blisters on Savannah's hand and red patches on her cheeks makes her question the medical treatment her child received.

"You're supposed to be able to go to work and not have to worry about our kids, but with circumstances like this, I don't want my kid to go back to any day care," Lester said. "She is never going back there."

The day care owner says her staff will still fix food to state standards but will wait to serve them to younger children. Meanwhile, Lester plans to get a lawyer and take legal action against the center.


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