Toddler loses part of finger at NY daycare

DOBBS FERRY, NY (WCBS/CNN) – At 21 months old, Max Blank is your typical toddler with milk and playtime on the mind.

He has not a care in the world, except a severe pain in his hand. His parents, Kathy and Jeff Blank, said part of his pinky finger was cut off during daycare.

The Blanks, of Scarsdale, NY, said back on Dec. 11, they got a call from The Learning Experience in Dobbs Ferry. A staff member explained to them a door closed on Max’s hand.

An incident report from the daycare said it happened as a teacher ran after another student.

“There was no mention whatsoever about the fact that the injury was so severe that he lost the tip of his finger,” Kathy Blank said.

Max’s grandparents picked him up, realizing how bad it really was.

“She took the paper towel off and she saw his exposed bone and the top of his finger had been severed,” Jeff Blank said. “They had it in a paper towel.”

He was rushed into emergency surgery at the hospital where doctors reattached his finger tip.

“There’s just level after level of errors and misjudgment on behalf of the daycare,” Jeff Blank said.

The Blanks said a few days later, they alerted the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Officials immediately launched an investigation into the daycare and ended up suspending its license.

State records show the facility, which is one of many across the country, had more than 60 violations in 2018.

State authorities said the suspension, which closed several classrooms at the location, went into effect on Dec. 20 “due to serious incidents of inadequate supervision of children and a lack of both fully cleared and trained staff.”

A staff member, who asked not to be identified, believes children are, to a certain extent, in danger at the facility.

“Like in the morning, the teacher will give the wrong bottle by accident,” the employee said, “or it’ll be another child who will be changed on the changing table who will be left standing and they’ll turn around real quickly to do something. They’ll hold the child, but you should not have the child 100 percent on surveillance?”

A day care spokesperson told local media that the supervisory staff member that had been in charge of day to day operations at the center has been fired.

“We have put in place executive team members with over 50 combined years of childcare experience,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The state has since lifted the suspension.

Meanwhile, the blanks are searching for new childcare and will be doing extensive research before placing little Max in someone else’s hands again.

“The message I think is be vigilant about who taking care of your children,” Jeff Blank said.

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