NORTH PORT, Fla. — North Port Police and the Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating Achievements Learning Center after a 10-month-old suffered severe burns on his arm while at the day care.
Elizabeth Amsalem dropped her infant PJ off at Achievements on Tuesday March 26th like she does every morning. Then she said she got a call to pick him up early.
She said he had severe burns on his arm. The burns are graphic but even the blurred images show they cover the back of his left arm from shoulder to wrist.
His mom said daycare workers told her while PJ was sitting in a high chair he pulled a crockpot down and the hot water inside burned his arm. She said he may need skin grafts to replace the skin that was burned off.
She called attorney Mark Salameh to sue the daycare for negligence. He said PJ’s parents are shocked all this happened at a place they thought was safe.
“You would think that your infant’s in good hands to ensure their safety. And you get a phone call that this happened. So, yes, they are devastated,” he said.
Salameh said PJ’s mom is also suing for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses and pain and suffering.
“This should not have happened. So, we want to find out exactly what happened, why it happened and that it doesn’t happen again,” said Salameh.
The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Sarasota County Health Department are investigating the incident.
When asked for comment, Achievements said they can’t comment because of the pending investigations.
North Port Police Depart spokesperson Joshua Taylor said the department is still investigating the case, but say so far it doesn’t seem like this happened intentionally.
“We’ve been over there to the daycare. We’ve reviewed videos of the incident. We’ve talked with staff,” he said. “Right now nothing criminal. However negligence is possible. That’ll all come out in the final report.”
Salameh said he wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to another child under Achievements’ supervision.
“Not only do we want justice for the infant and his family, but we also want to make sure this does not happen again,” he said.
If investigators find any negligence by Achievements, the daycare could face fines by the health department and would have to change procedures to prevent something like this from happening again.
Scald burns are one of the most common burns among children. Shriners Hospitals for Children offers safety tips to protect children from burns.