Society

Parents Pull 2-Year-Old Boy From Day Care After Discovering He Was Swaddled During Naps

| by Karin Sun
William Being Swaddled.William Being Swaddled.

The parents of a toddler in Michigan removed their son from a day care in June after discovering he was swaddled in a blanket during naps, WNEM reports.

Jason and Rebecca Vannest said they had been searching carefully for the right day care center for their 2-year-old son, William, since before he was born.

"Even before I was pregnant, I actually put together an Excel list, and was going through different day cares, and calling, and visiting, just trying to find somewhere where we felt comfortable," Rebecca told WNEM.

The couple said they eventually fell in love with Rainbow Child Care Center in Davison, Michigan.

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For more than a year, William attended the day care center seemingly without incident.

"I would often call and say he was a little upset at drop-off, is he doing OK now? Do you need anything? Is he being good for you today? It felt like we had a trust," Rebecca said.

Shortly after William's second birthday in June, a worker at the center contacted the couple and told them she was concerned about the care that their son was being given.

She shared with them a photo of their son swaddled tightly in a blanket while taking a nap at the center.

 "She explained to us he was being physically bound for naps, and over time, this happened about a period of a couple of months," Jason told WNEM.

The couple removed William from the day care center immediately after the discovery.

The Vannests said they were told a longtime child care worker at the center performed the swaddling. She reportedly has not been fired for her actions.  

Rainbow Child Care Center declined to comment to WNEM due to privacy concerns.

Both the state's Department of Health and Human Services and the Davison Township Police Department have conducted investigations of the day care center in response to the incident.

The social service agency cited the center for "restricting William's movement during nap time," but did not specify what sanctions were issued.

The county prosecutor decided not to file charges against the center at the conclusion of the police investigation.

The Vannests said the swaddling constituted a clear case of child abuse and that more action should have been taken in their son's case.

"What you assume is that justice will be served, action will be taken, and there will be consequences for someone who has abused or done harm to your child, and in this case, it just hasn't happened so far," Jason told WNEM.

Colin Parks, the manager of Child Protective Services, explained that the agency determines whether abuse has occurred on a case-by-case basis.

"What I would tell you is we would have to take a look at the entire thing in context, and we would have to evaluate completely what happened, and we would have to make a decision as to whether an action put a child at risk of harm," Parks said.

The Vannests are reportedly keeping William out of day care for the time being.

Less than 1 percent of child abuse cases reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2007 involved day care workers, according to statistics published by the American Humane Association. 

Sources: WNEM, American Humane Association / Photo credit: WNEM TV 5