A 3-year-old child was rushed to the hospital in need of stitches after she was thrown into a cabinet by a Missouri day care worker, who claimed in an incident report the little girl suffered an accidental fall, an attorney for the girl’s family said.
The child’s mother had returned home to finish getting ready for work after dropping off her two children at Brighter Day Care and Preschool on Feb. 1 when she received a phone call that her daughter had been hurt, Jennifer Hansen, a lawyer for the child’s family, told InsideEdition.com.
“They arrived to find their daughter’s clothes covered in blood and she had a large gash in the middle of her head,” Hansen said.
Hansen said the family, who wish to remain anonymous but gave her permission to speak on their behalf, arrived at the day care as an ambulance readied to transport the little girl to a hospital.
There, the child was treated for a head injury, facial swelling and received seven stitches, Hansen said.
“There will likely be scarring for the rest of her life,” Hansen said of the wound the child suffered.
She returned to the hospital two days later because the injury became infected and she needed to stay in the hospital for three days, Hansen said.
“The family couldn’t understand how their daughter could have sustained such a serious injury,” she said.
Wanting to know more about what happened, the family requested to watch the surveillance footage captured at the Brighter Day Care and Preschool. Hansen said the director told her clients she hadn’t watched the footage until she viewed it with them.
“They watched the tape together,” Hansen said. “That’s when they first found out it was an assault.”
In the surveillance video apparently captured at the day care viewed by InsideEdition.com, the child is seen calmly standing by a chair at a table when a woman walks up to her and grabs her by her arm. The woman can be seen pulling the girl away from the table and then throwing her across the room. The video shows the child fall and skid into a cabinet. She writhed on the floor and clutched her head as the woman who threw her walked over to her before lifting her up again by her arms, the video showed.
“Their daughter was injured by a woman in a way that she said she wasn’t,” Hansen said.
The incident report Hansen said was filed by the teacher who threw her clients’ daughter told a different story.
Under the Brighter Day Care and Preschool’s unintentional injury form’s section asking for a description of injuries, the employee, identified as 27-year-old Wilma Brown, wrote “bump her head, when she fall out on carpet," according to a copy of the report provided by Hansen to InsideEdition.com.
“If they had known the manner in which the child had been injured, they could’ve reported that to the medical providers,” Hansen said. “They were treating it just like a fall.”
Since learning the true story of their daughter’s injuries, the girl’s parents have had her undergo an MRI. She will need plastic surgery and will likely have lifelong scarring. And the family is still working to deal with the psychological ramifications of the incident, Hansen said.
“The family is obviously devastated,” Hansen said. “But they’re a very supportive and loving family and are loving her and letting her heal.”
The parents have since removed their daughter and their son from the day care facility, Hansen said.
“Her mother is obviously just gobsmacked and devastated by this,” Hansen said. “Because she trusted this day care … she’s struggling with the fact she had to leave her kids to go to work and thought they would be safe.”
They have been relying on family to help them care for their children, but will ultimately need to find another child care provider, Hansen said. The family has retained Hansen in the event they file a lawsuit against the day care center.
“My approach is to make sure I am holding the day care accountable,” Hansen said.
InsideEdition.com has reached out to the North County Police Cooperative, which is investigating the incident.
Sgt. Kevin Smith of the NCPC told ABC News that while reviewing video of the incident, police discovered a second incident in which a different child was injured by another day care worker.
In that second incident, a worker identified as Ariana Silver allegedly grabbed a child by the arm so forcefully that her fingernails punctured the child’s skin and left bruising, police told ABC News.
Both employees have been fired by the day care center, police said. They have both since been charged with abuse of a child and have not yet entered pleas.
Hansen is not representing the family of the child apparently injured in the second alleged incident, but said the fact that two separate instances of alleged abuse occurred within one day at the day care points to a bigger problem.
"I have had day care cases in the past," she said. “This really is a system-wide issue and it needs to start at the state regulating licensure in a more forceful way."
Both incidents remain under investigation.
InsideEdition.com has reached out to the Brighter Day Care and Preschool for comment. In a statement to The Washington Post, Timothy Smith, who represents the day care, said: "All teachers and staff are properly trained and extremely qualified."
The statement added: "It has always been our policy to notify the proper authorities and to fully comply with any investigation."
Smith also said the day care center had encouraged the family to view the video in question and added that all staffers are required to undergo background checks for employment.