VINITA, Okla. (AP) — A day care center in northeast Oklahoma shut its doors Tuesday after a mother reported her two young sons were severely sunburned during an outing to a local water park
Happiness is a Learning Center day care in Vinita agreed to cease operations while the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and local police investigate the matter, said DHS spokeswoman Debra Martin.
“They’re trying to determine exactly what happened, who was involved and whether or not compliance issues were broken,” Martin said.
Shaunna Broadway told Tulsa television station KOTV (http://bit.ly/1IqAbj ) that a day care worker let her 5- and 7-year-old sons play outside Friday without shirts or sunscreen. Photographs she took of her boys show their back and shoulders covered with giant blisters.
“Right’s right, and wrong’s wrong, and there’s no excuse for this,” Broadway told the station. “I’m a single parent, and I do all I can. I work Monday through Friday, and they have to go to day care.”
A telephone message seeking comment from the day care on Tuesday wasn’t immediately returned.
Broadway said she initially took her boys to a Tulsa hospital, but that because of the severity of the burns they were flown to a children’s facility in Texas.
A review of Oklahoma Department of Human Services records shows the facility has been cited 19 times since Sept. 30, mostly for violations connected to staffing and signage. One report from May indicated the center had 17 children in a room with square space for nine. During other inspections, one staff member reportedly made derogatory remarks to a child and another took a personal call on her cell phone.
Martin said there are no plans for the day care to reopen.