A 10 year old babysitter was arrested recently on child abuse charges. For weeks prior to her arrest, she had been caring for a 23 month old girl and a 4 year old boy. She admitted to grabbing the little girl by the hair, pulling her out of her crib and onto the floor, slamming her head in the bathtub, and kicking her – all during the seven hours she was babysitting one of the days. She also hit the child with a plastic bat, a belt, and toys. The toddler was taken to emergency care with severe brain injuries and a skull fracture, and it was discovered that the injuries that the child endured were inflicted over a period of time.
There is so much wrong with this story, it’s not even funny.
In case you didn’t catch it the first time…
A TEN YEAR OLD BABYSITTER was in charge of a 23 month old and a 4 year old.
A TEN YEAR OLD BABYSITTER was watching these young children on her own for several weeks, apparently 7 or so hours each time.
A TEN YEAR OLD BABYSITTER was abusing this child over a period of time and it wasn’t noticed.
A TEN YEAR OLD BABYSITTER was arrested on child abuse charges.
A TEN YEAR OLD BABYSITTER. TEN.
Frankly, I’m floored. The whole story sends chills down my spine. Just the description of the abuse is hard to read. But when I read about a 10 year old being left alone for 7 hours to care for two young children? I don’t even have words to describe the horror I feel about this. I mean, we all know the stress involved with caring for young kids. There’s the attention and entertainment they need. There’s the meals they need prepared for them. There’s the tantrums, the whining, the disobedience, the need to test limits, the natural curiousity of a 2 year old… A 10 year old is not equipped with the maturity and the knowledge to be able to solely care for children of this age for long periods of time. And what if something goes horribly wrong? What if the child starts to choke? What if the child runs out of the house and into the street? What if they need to be taken to the hospital? What if the 10 year old is brought beyond their limits and they fight the toddler in ways their little bodies can’t handle?
The abuse this toddler endured was unspeakable. And if an adult inflicted these kinds of injuries on a child we would be read to string them up and persecute them. But it was a child who did this – a child given responsibilities way beyond their years. And now a child who has been arrested and remains in a juvenile detention center.
What about the 10 year old?