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‘I Was Definitely Upset’: Iowa Mother Is Demanding Answers After 1-Year-Old Was Allegedly Burned with Bleach at Day Care

A Black mother in Iowa believes her daughter was burned at her day care with bleach after discovering the marks on her child, and she is demanding answers.

“I was definitely upset. Very frustrated and angry. Because bleach and chemical burns — that’s a huge thing,” said Sophia Ewing to KCCI News in Des Moines.

Sophia Ewing and Zi’Airah, her 1-year-old daughter. (Photo: KCCI News)

Ewing is the mother of 1-and-a-half-year-old twins, Za’Koda and Zi’Airah, that attend Yellow Brick Road Daycare in Grimes, Iowa. She told reporters she noticed burn marks on her daughter Zi’Airah after she picked them up last week from the day care.

The marks weren’t visible to Ewing immediately, but she noticed them on her bottom area as she was changing her daughter later that evening. Her son didn’t have any marks on him. KCCI News stated that the photos were so graphic that they would not post them.

“And when I changed her diaper, you know, around that time, I noticed there were some bruises,” Ewing said.

She took her daughter to the pediatrician, and the doctor asked the Iowa Department of Human Services to investigate the situation.

In June, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law that allows a larger child-to-staff ratio. The law also states that 16 and 17-year-olds could begin to work in child care facilities without supervision.

The previous law stated that one child care worker could watch up to six 2-year-olds and eight 3-year-olds. The new law signed last June states that one child care worker can watch up to seven 2-year-olds and eight 3-year-olds.

Ewing doesn’t think it was intentional, but she does think it was an unfortunate incident that should’ve never happened. She reached out to Yellow Brick Day Care and says she was told that they would try to find alternative cleaning solutions.

Most day care facilities and schools have adopted using stronger products post-pandemic.

“So, just to hear that they are going to try to find something else to use other than bleach. Like, that kind of makes me feel good. They won’t be coming back. So just like any kid in the future, so this doesn’t happen,” Ewing said.

A representative from Yellow Brick told KCCI News the following statement:

“Yellow Brick follows all DHS and CPS guidelines regarding cleaning and diapering. Any time we are made aware of an incident we are in direct contact with our DHS and internally reviewing our policies and procedures, which are approved by DHS. To date, we have not been cited regarding any discrepancies in our procedures regarding diapering or cleaning procedures. Yellow Brick Road takes all children’s health and safety seriously and will work with the family and licensing to correct any violations of our policies and procedures, which have been approved by DHS.”

Iowa Department of Human Services has yet to release any statement on the investigation.

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