Police Chief Dorian LaCourse called the incident a serious mistake. Addyston, Ohio, police had been called to a home where a baby was badly burned.
“I need somebody here right now. This baby’s 10 months old, she’s burnt bad….Please hurry. She’s got skin coming off and everything,” a man told 911 dispatchers.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, during the 911 call, a woman is heard crying in the background. “How did she get burned, babe?” the man asked.
“I set her car seat on the stove and it was still hot,” the woman said.
“The stove was still hot and she didn’t know it,” the man told dispatchers.
As WXIX reports, Addyston police said the baby suffered second- and third-degree burns after she was placed on top of a stove in her car seat. The baby’s mother was attempting to keep the child out of reach of the family dog.
In an interview with reporters, LaCourse explained:
“She rushed into the house and I guess they have a big dog. She didn’t want the dog to get the kid so she placed her up on the stove. The burner was on and it went from there.”
A blanket was reportedly responsible for the ignition, KRON reports.
Emergency dispatchers asked the man placing the call to describe the baby’s injuries. “Probably three quarters (sic) of her left side of her butt, her back, her face, her arms,” he said.
The baby was taken to Children’s Hospital Medical Center via Air Care then transferred to Shriners Hospital for Children and listed in critical but stable condition, according to WXIX.
As the Enquirer reports, an investigation is underway as LaCourse said police have a duty to fully investigate the matter; however, he believes the incident was an accident.
LaCourse said the woman is known by Addyston police in the small community of 1,000 to be a caring mother:
“(The mother is) pretty young — in her 20s I believe — and most of us know her down here. Addyston is small enough that everyone knows each other.”
LaCourse said he would likely not recommend prosecution if the preliminary investigation supports what authorities were told: that the baby’s mother had no idea the stove was on when she put the baby’s car seat on top in an effort to keep the dog away, reports the Enquirer.
As La Course said:
“People go around and make mistakes every day, but some of them are serious. We just don’t know what they were thinking about that day. They may have been under some kind of stress.”
WXIX reports LaCourse said the mother was cooperating with authorities, although she was too distraught to be interviewed at the time of the accident. LaCourse issued a warning for parents, telling reporters:
“You have got to think constantly when you have young kids around. Be careful, be mindful of where you are putting kids.
I wouldn’t think something like this would have happened, but it did — but I don’t know what goes through some people’s minds sometimes. I’m sure the dog would have scratched her or something. Sure, put her up, but was there a table close by you could have put her on? It’s hard to say.
I don’t know what the set up in the house is like but, still, I don’t think I would have ever put a kid on a stove.”
According to Stanford Children’s Hospital, 20 percent of children under age 4 hospitalized for burns have received contact burns. The most common causes of product-related thermal burn injuries for children under 14 include stoves and oven ranges.
The stove on which the mother placed her baby’s car seat reportedly had a glass top with touch burners, the Enquirer reports.
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