HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Multiple state agencies are joining forces with sheriff's deputies to investigate whether an 18-month-old child was burned at a Georgia day care facility.
Megan Seabolt is the mother of Damon, who was burned. She said teachers at Discovering Basics day care in Georgia told her that they had heard Damon scream at 5:30 p.m., just 25 minutes before she arrived to pick him up last Friday.
Additionally, Seabolt said the boy had on different clothes than what he wore when he arrived. His leg was covered in lotion, she said.
"When a baby is in child care the whole point of the care part is for them to be taken care of," Seabolt said.
The day care owner and her attorney would not talk on camera. But both said by phone that the child was having an allergic reaction to a bug bite. They both insisted he did not have any burns when he left their facility.
Seabolt said she took her son within the hour to the hospital. There, he was diagnosed with second- and third-degree burns from his stomach to the bottom of his left leg. Seabolt said the lotion made the injuries worse, smothering the skin instead of letting it breathe.
"It was just red and swollen and had blisters," Seabolt said. "The hospital directly said that's a water burn. He has been burned by something that was scalding hot."
Damon was eventually rushed into surgery at a hospital in Augusta. His damaged skin was patched with skin grafts that will have to be replaced as he grows.
Now, he's home with the help of pain killers, and his mother wants answers.
"I've walked in there (the day care center) numerous times and I've seen him sitting up on that changing table not buckled in by himself," she said. "All he's got to do is crawl a few steps and they keep a crock pot of boiling hot water sitting there."
State inspection reports reveal that the day care site has received only minor violations. Last year, it was cited for not having the proper child teacher ratio on the playground.
Investigators are now trying to retrieve Damon's clothes to see if there are indications of damage. They are also trying to interview workers at the site. A spokesperson from a local sheriff's department said criminal charges are possible.
A friend of the family has set up a fund to help offset medical bills. Seabolt is also the primary caregiver and unable to work during Damon's treatments.