Child Burned, Mother Files Child Neglect Charges Against Shawnee Daycare

Sunday, June 30th 2013, 5:56 pm
By: News 9

A mother in Shawnee is warning other parents about a daycare center where she said her young daughter suffered second-degree burns.

Amanda Mason saw the burn on her 1-year-old daughter Madalyn's arm on Saturday, when she picked her daughter up from the Stay and Play Daycare Center located at 1009 E. Wayne in Shawnee.

"I wasn't a happy mom, I'll tell you that," said Mason. "It looks like the skin has been pulled off of it. It's all raw and she has blisters the size of her finger on her thumb."

Mason said this isn't the first time she's noticed neglect, but it was by far the worst.

"She has nasty bruises," Mason said. "She's come home with multiple bite marks on her arms, that's happened five or six times. I assume it's from other kids, but still you should be keeping an eye on them."

Mason said nobody at the center knew how the burn happened; however, she believes it could have been from something in the kitchen.

"She [daycare worker] was standing in the kitchen cooking over the oven when I dropped her off," Mason said. "At that time, there were like 11 kids running around like crazy. I mean, you could tell she needed help."

Madalyn was treated for second-degree burns at a hospital. Because of the severity of her injuries, Mason decided to file a police report against the center for child neglect.

"If that daycare isn't going to step their foot up, hire more people to watch these children, I don't think they should be open," she said.

Darinda McElfresh, the daycare's director, said she doesn't know how the burn occurred, but was told by her worker that Madalyn arrived at the daycare center on Saturday with the burn already on her arm. McElfresh also said she plans to contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) this week regarding the allegations.

Any complaint investigation that rises to the level of abuse/neglect is referred to OKDHS Child Welfare Services for screening and investigation. All other complaint allegations are investigated by Oklahoma Child Care Services.

Madalyn is doing just fine, doctors said her burn should heal in about two weeks.