An employee of a child-care center dropped a toddler, who suffered a skull fracture. A child in a different facility sustained an abrasion from being dragged across carpeting. Ten children wandered away from child-care centers and three were given food to which they were allergic.
These are some of the 20 cases of maltreatment substantiated at child-care centers by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) in 2011.
The state describes maltreatment as failure "to supply a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, health, medical or other care required for the child's physical or mental health" or failure to keep a child from danger when reasonably able to do so.
There are more than 1,500 licensed centers in the state. I've listed the seven cases substantiated in 2011 that involved physical injury to a child.
To see all 20 substantiated cases, go to startribune.com/whistleblower.
Unless otherwise noted, individual workers were found responsible for the incidents. In cases of injury requiring medical attention, the employee has been disqualified from working directly with people receiving services from facilities licensed by DHS and certain other agencies.
All Aboard Child Daycare, Marshall
In an attempt to talk eye-to-eye to a child who was lying face down on the floor, an employee lifted the child by the upper arms, causing bruising.
Discovery Center Little, Marshall
A worker vacuuming ran over an infant's hand when the child crawled to the vacuum and tried to use it to pull him or herself up. The child received a "superficial rug burn."
Especially For Children Inc., Bloomington
A worker confined a 4-year-old, who was having a "temper tantrum," in a high chair and told the child he or she was "acting like a baby." The state decided marks left on the child's arm were likely caused by the employee's restraint of the child.
Hand N Hand Learning Academy Inc., Shakopee
A worker, who is also a family member of a 22-month-old child cared for at the center, lost his or her grip while lifting the child. The toddler fell, sustaining skull and wrist fractures.
Little Treasures Center Inc., Hermantown, $1,000 fine, $500 stayed on appeal
A 23-month-old was found crying at the bottom of playground equipment. The child received a "spiral femur fracture" and was fitted with a "spica" cast covering part of the chest and both legs. The facility was found responsible.
New Horizon Academy, Minneapolis
In what a worker said was meant as a playful act, he or she dragged a 4-year-old by the arms about 18 feet across carpeting, causing a "red, open, and raw, oval shaped abrasion" on the child's lower back.
Northside Child Development Center, Minneapolis
A worker threw crayons at a 6-year-old child during "horse play," a manager said. A crayon gave the child a black eye.
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