Bites or ringworms? Either way, Harnett County daycare has challenges

Friday, August 31, 2018

CAMERON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Bite Marks or ringworm? More parents are coming forward after a mom told ABC11 that her 2-year-old was bitten by another child at Building Blocks Early Education Center in Cameron.

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The parents told ABC11 that their child has similar marks but they've been diagnosed as ringworm.

CEO Perry Melton has had a tough week, desperately trying to keep Building Blocks from tumbling down.

"I feel bad for all that's happened, I really feel bad for our employees. My employees are getting threats. My family is getting threats," Melton said.

Tuesday, a parent reached out to ABC11 about her son Xander whom she said she believed was viciously bitten in the classroom but Melton says he knows better. In fact, he built his facility to prevent that.

"This happened to my daughter 20-something years ago. She was abused in childcare, savagely bitten to the point they took meat out of her back. My empathy for this situation is more powerful than what anyone can imagine," Melton said.

Katie Hallstrom's son, Chris shares a classroom with Xander. He also shares some mysterious marks on his body. Like Xander's mom, she took her son to a doctor.

"The thing is, I didn't go to the doctor saying I think my child got bit at school. I didn't go to the doctor saying my child has ringworm," Hallstrom said. "I went to the doctor and said we have a couple marks on Chris, can you guys take a look? They said it's ringworm.

So is it ringworm or bite marks? ABC11 sent the photos to Cross Creek Pediatrics who said Xander's marks did not appear to be bite marks.

"I would think bite marks would be a little more oval," said Dr. Barbara Appel.

Bottom line, Dr. Appel couldn't make a definitive diagnosis without seeing both children in person. Melton said the same rule can apply to the community.

"I'm just hoping that maybe we learn from this. Think through things, examine things. I know it's easy to overreact and social media gives us instant release," Melton said.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office is investigating. Building Blocks said it is doing everything they can to prevent the spread of ringworm.