Like many working parents, Houston mom Emma Robinson employs child care workers to make sure her children are looked after. But after a disturbing incident, Robinson has a hard time trusting them.
According to KPRC, it started when Robinson left little 9-month-old Catherine and 4-year-old Margaret in the hands of a nanny while she was at work.
While away, she received a text message from the woman, who informed her that her infant daughter “may have scratched herself in her sleep.”
Because it didn't seem serious, the mom returned home at her normal time. But she soon realized the girl's injuries were much worse than described.
Robinson said her daughter was down for a nap when she returned home. And when she checked on her, she knew something was seriously wrong.
The infant girl's face was covered in “scratches, scrapes, and blood.” Robinson told KPRC:
“I really thought she had been beaten ... It was just horrifying,”
The concerned mom immediately rushed her 9-month-old to the hospital, where her wounds were treated. But Robinson was left with one big question — what happened?
Luckily, there was one other witness there when the incident occurred: her 4-year-old daughter. And she had a much different story.
Little Margaret told her mom the nanny had placed the infant in a highchair outside but didn't secure the tray in place. When Catherine leaned forward, she plunged three feet onto concrete.
Robinson contacted Child Protective Services, who informed her they couldn't investigate the woman because she wasn't a state-regulated daycare worker. She told Houston Public Media:
“I was really surprised to find that CPS couldn’t do anything. That’s where I first turned to … thinking they protect children."
According to Chioma Johnson from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there are no regulations in place for workers who aren't part of a daycare — something to be considered when choosing child care.
She told Houston Public Media:
“In a nanny situation, all you have is the law and the law is written very loosely…. But typically when things change, it’s because something happened … That would be the only way I can see regulation happening for nanny agencies.”
Research from a 2013 study indicated highchair injuries rose dramatically over the past decade. An estimated 9,400 children are injured every year in the U.S. from highchair-related incidents.
Robinson filed charges with local authorities regarding the incident, but they were later dropped. However, the nanny responsible has since been let go from her agency.
The nanny maintains the infant never fell from her highchair. Watch KPRC's coverage below: