HOUSTON—A Houston mother did not immediately take her 2-year-old son to the hospital after he was severely burned in a tub of scalding hot water because she did not want Children’s Protective Services to get involved, according to Houston police.
LaKeisha Scott was charged with injury to a child by omission. Her boyfriend, 21-year-old Dushan Davis, was charged with felony injury to a child.
Police said on April 25, Davis was caring for Scott’s son while she was at work and his two older siblings were at school.
Scott said Davis called and told her the little boy had been accidentally burned in the bathtub, but the injury was not that bad. When she returned home and saw the burns, she tried to treat them herself because she was afraid CPS would be called if she took him to the hospital, according to court documents.
When the boy did not get better after several days, Scott called her cousin for advice on what she should do because he would not stop crying. The cousin told police she insisted that Scott take her son immediately to the hospital.
Doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital found the boy suffering from second- and third-degree burns and transferred him to the Shriners Burn Center for advanced treatment.
The toddler will need antibacterial therapy and skin grafts to correct his injuries, but will be permanently scarred, doctors said.
The child was burned only on his lower back and buttocks, and not on the hands and feet. Doctors said the only way the child could be burned in that matter is if he was intentionally submerged in the water.
Davis had an explanation for that.
During his police interview, Davis said his girlfriend’s son accidentally wet himself so he took him to the bathroom and placed him on the potty. He said he turned on the water and told the boy to “get in” while he went to the kitchen. While he was in the kitchen, someone knocked on the door and he answered it.
He said when he returned to the bathroom he found the little boy sitting partially in the tub with his rear end in the water, but holding his hands and feet out of it. After realizing how hot it was, he said he grabbed the child and said “this water is scalding you bro,” investigators said.
Davis said he saw the boy’s skin falling off, but did not think it was that bad because the child was not crying. He called his mother and put peroxide on the burns, then went to Walgreens to buy some over-the-counter products to treat him.
He said they decided to take him to the hospital on April 27 when they noticed the home treatment was not working.
Police agreed that Davis’ explanation was not consistent with the doctors’ findings. A child that young could not have stepped into or sat in the hot water by himself.
Davis’ bail was set at $30,000.