Archive for Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Health officials revoke day-care license

Lawrence baby sitter’s program forced to close after infant suffers from head injury

April 20, 2005


State health officials have ordered a Lawrence woman to stop caring for children in her home after authorities confirmed reports that an 8-month-old baby had suffered a head injury.

Officials on Monday notified Maryanna Rose Rawlings, 1824 North 1100 Road, a 19-year in-home day-care provider, that her registration had been suspended.

On Tuesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced its intent to revoke Rawlings' registration, forcing her to close the day care's doors.

Attempts to reach Rawlings for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful. But her husband denied allegations the baby had been abused or improperly attended.

"We will respond to it (the order of suspension), but the allegations are not true," Larry Rawlings said. "We understand the suspension; we know they have to do something if they get a complaint."

KDHE reports show that when the mother of a baby in Maryanna Rawlings' care went to pick up her daughter on April 7, she "found the child weak, pale and unable to move her head."

Rawlings reportedly said the baby had vomited and then passed out. She later told authorities the infant had fallen "over on the floor, went limp, and her face went red, her eyes went to the right and were fixed, and fell in and out of sleep the remainder of the day."

She did not notify the baby's mother, officials said.

The mother arrived at Rawlings' home approximately three-and-a-half hours later. She immediately took the child to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

The baby was later transferred to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where doctors found multiple head injuries.

On April 11, doctors attributed the injuries to "very violent shaking, an impact on the baby's head or a combination of both."

The next day, a Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services investigator found that Rawlings was caring for eight children in her home, five of whom were under 18 months old. Regulations prohibit in-home day-care providers from caring for more than six children and no more than three can be under age 18 months.

SRS notified KDHE of those violations Monday. KDHE spokeswoman Sharon Watson said Rawlings' registration was immediately suspended.

Watson said SRS and Lawrence police were investigating the case of the injured child. Neither SRS nor Lawrence police spokesmen were immediately available to confirm an investigation was under way.

Wendy Burkett, a neighbor of the Rawlingses, said she never suspected any problems at the day care. "We take my daughter to another day care, but we use Mary as a backup," she said. "If I thought she was in danger, I wouldn't take her there."

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