In an exclusive interview with Fox 8, the mother of a six-month-old child who suffered a severe burn on her hand due to a bottle warmer at a daycare in New Orleans shared her horrifying experience. The mother recounted the trauma that her young child had to endure, which was caused by the careless use of the bottle warmer.
The woman is calling for the responsible parties to be held accountable for the crime, including the daycare worker who was arrested by the police and the daycare facility itself.
Khalecia Vinning expressed disbelief that the kind of events she had only seen in movies or on television could actually happen in real life. “You see this type of stuff on movies, you see this type of stuff on TV, never really think it could hit home,” she said.
On the morning of September 22nd, Vinning dropped off her six-month-old daughter, Harper, at McMillan’s First Steps daycare in Central City.
In the afternoon, McMillan’s contacted her and informed her that her daughter had suffered burns, she recounted.
In a moment of panic, she quickly made her way to her daughter’s school and swiftly took her to the hospital.
Tears streamed down Vinning’s face as she recounted the painful memory. “They removed all the blisters from her hand, and my baby was screaming in agony. I had to hold her down because she was only 6 months old and didn’t understand what was happening. It was heartbreaking to see her cry, and I felt helpless.”
According to an arrest warrant, an employee named Victoria Saulter from McMillan’s was later arrested by the New Orleans Police Department for allegedly placing the hand of a baby on a bottle warmer twice. As the baby cried out in pain, she exclaimed, “Good job!”
According to a detective, the appliance is capable of heating water to a temperature of up to 194.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
As of now, Saulter is being held in the Orleans Parish Prison on a bond of $50,000 and has not yet been arraigned.
Vinning was in shock after watching a video shown to her by McMillan staff. She couldn’t believe that someone would do something like that to Harper. Despite seeing the video with her own eyes, she still found it hard to accept that it had actually happened. “How do you do that?” she exclaimed, expressing her disbelief.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital New Orleans treated a young girl for second-degree burns, which were so severe that they may result in permanent scarring and loss of range of motion in her hand.
Vinning expressed concern about her daughter Harper’s sleeping habits, stating that Harper wakes up every two to three hours and refuses to be put down. According to Vinning, there has been a noticeable change in Harper’s demeanor, even when she appears to be happy. Vinning emphasized that, as a mother, she knows her child and can sense when something is different.
According to the warrant, the child sustained burns at 1:10 p.m. However, Saulter failed to inform the daycare administration until 3:50 p.m. about the incident.
According to Vinning, it’s not fair to put all the blame on one person. He believes that everyone involved in the situation is equally responsible for the mistake.
Dr. P.W. Reed, McMillan’s Director of Operations and Principal, spoke to Fox 8 and provided a defense for the school’s handling of the incident. According to Reed, the daycare staff’s responsibility is to inform the parent of the child’s condition without taking it upon themselves to transport the child to the hospital.
According to Reed, Saulter had experienced difficulties with finding shelter.
He stated that they have the freedom to ensure more thorough vetting and to closely monitor all their actions. He acknowledged being aware of her challenges with sheltering but had no further information. He also confirmed that they addressed her punctuality issues whenever they arose.
According to Reed, they have never encountered an incident like this before. He further mentioned that Saulter was terminated right away and that they immediately informed the authorities, including the police, child protective services, and state licensing to report the incident.
According to Vinning, she is extremely angry with Saulter and McMillan’s.
She expressed that her experience was unbearably difficult and no one could take that away from her. She also clarified that although she did not want it to be that way, it was still her child.
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