Toddler fires a handgun, severely injures two other toddlers at a home daycare

Toddler fires a handgun, severely injures two other toddlers at a home daycare

The unfortunate incident took place in Michigan, USA.

Ms Samantha Eubanks, a mother of six, runs a home-based daycare facility in Michigan, USA. On . September 27, a toddler got hold of a handgun. Sadly, the gun was loaded. He accidentally fired the gun that injured two of his playmates. 

The story

According to the news report, the private home in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn also functioned as a daycare facility. On Wednesday, a toddler got hold of a handgun and discharged it. At that time, there were six other children and 1 adult in the house. According to the Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad, the weapon was found on the nightstand.

It is unclear whether one or two shots were fired. However, what is certain that two 3-year-old toddlers were critically injured because of this. Apparently, the husband of the daycare owner, a car salesman, likes to hunt. And despite her urging him not to bring guns inside the house, this happened. 

According to the local law, guns are allowed to be kept in a private house, including a daycare. However, they should be unloaded and kept locked away. Sadly, that is not the case. As according to according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, as many as 1.7 million children in the USA live in a house where there is a loaded gun, not locked away. This may also be the reason why there are about 5790 children treated for gunshot wounds each year in that country. 

Last heard, both the children are out of danger, though severely injured. 

Safety first

I cannot even imagine what the parents of the injured children must be going through. And the toddler who discharged the firearm might be just scarred for life! We can all debate about the handgun, however, one thing is certain -  safety was lax in this situation. 

To begin with, the daycare was meant for helping out friends and family according to Samantha's sister. So, it was a low-cost option for those who could not afford the registered daycares. But it also means that the house was never inspected and the safety standards were never checked.

Secondly, there were six children at the facility with Samantha taking care of the children on her own most of the times. This is not an ideal caregiver to children ratio. The ratio is designed to ensure that the children are safe, taken care of properly, and kept engaged meaningfully.

And lastly, we are unsure if Samantha is trained to take care of children. The training for taking care of children also includes a basic knowledge of first aid. It is unclear from the reports whether she was indeed officially capable of taking care of children.

When you send your child to a daycare

A daycare is a child's home away from home. It is important that he is safe there, and experiences a nurturing environment. So, every parent must ensure that some basic requirements are met when it comes to a daycare. 

  1. Safety. Ask the staff for their safety report. This should include the safety precautions as well as the emergency evacuation plan. Also, ask how often they conduct mock drills. 
  2. Inspect. Thought the daycares are inspected and graded daily, you need to have a look and see for yourself if there is any hazard. Look out for unlocked cupboards, sharps, choking hazards in toys, and even the credentials of the staff.
  3. Ratio. According to the Ministry of Social and Family development, the ideal ratios could be found here.
  4. First-aid readiness. All the staff members should ideally be trained in first aid.
  5. Surveillance. A few daycares may also provide a link to a live feed. Though not necessary, a few parents may want this.

Always remember, our children are our responsibility at the end of the day. Ensure that they are safe. 

Image: screen grab

Also, read THIS is why you should buckle your kids in their car seat

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Written by

Anay Bhalerao

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