Having received a phone call from the daycare center, two concerned parents went to pick up their baby girl. But when they saw that her face was covered in bruises, they knew there had to be more to the story.
Married couple Tracy and Pasha Blinov are the loving parents of a beautiful baby girl called Eliana. The family live in Missoula, Montana – where, unfortunately, something traumatic happened to them.
The story started in March 2017 when the Blinovs took their daughter to their local daycare center. They arrived at the facility, which is called Busy Hands, and dropped off Eliana as usual.
They then left the baby in the care of the center’s employees and went about their day. Little did they know, though, how badly the day would go. Indeed, not long after they left Busy Hands, the phone rang.
The facility called the parents to give them some bad news: Eliana had been bitten by a two-year-old child. Yet while this was obviously worrying to hear, it’s not unusual for children to accidentally injure each other, the Blinovs thought.
When they went back to pick her up, however, they saw the shocking extent of their daughter’s injuries. Indeed, little Eliana’s face had been battered and bruised by the older child.
The Blinovs originally thought that there would be only one bite mark, because that’s how the daycare center’s staff made it sound. But in total, Eliana had eight to ten different blemishes on her face.
Mom Tracy was so horrified by what had happened that, on April 1, 2017, she shared a photo of her baby’s bruised face on Facebook. Alongside it, she wrote a heartfelt message expressing her confusion and upset.
“I don’t get it. I never will. Who lets this kind of thing happen? I let Eliana go to Busy Hands, and in less than two hours both sides of her face have been severely bitten and scratched by another child,” she wrote.
“I’m utterly perplexed. Not sure I can ever let her out of my sight again,” the protective mom continued. And the sheer amount of injuries that her daughter had sustained certainly raised a few questions about the standard of care at Busy Hands.
The Blinovs were not prepared to simply let this go, either. Their poor baby had been badly injured, after all, and they wanted to know more about what had actually happened that day. Why didn’t the carers step in sooner?
Given such concerns, the parents did something that would end up telling them everything they’d need to know. They demanded to review the CCTV footage from the daycare center so that they could see for themselves what had happened.
And it revealed what they had feared: it was not simply one bite from another child. In fact, the footage showed that the two-year-old had attacked their baby for almost a minute and a half before staff separated them.
According to KRTV, the CCTV footage shows a staff member putting the two-year-old in a playpen before walking out of the room. Next, while the employee is away, the toddler manages to escape and then starts biting Eliana.
The owner of the facility said that the staff member “did her job” in that she went over as soon as she heard the baby crying. KRTV were also told by the owner that the carer had done “the best that she could.”
The owner further admitted that the toddler in question was new to the facility and that its parents hadn’t informed them that the child had a history of biting others. “If that would have been told to us, we could have said, ‘No, we can’t take her,’” Busy Hands’ owner said, according to AWM.
But, unfortunately, this didn’t happen, and poor Eliana suffered the consequences. Mom Tracy told KRTV that she isn’t surprised her child was bitten, but she was most concerned about how long it took a carer to get there.
According to KRTV, the parents had concerns over the child-adult ratio at the daycare center. But the state of Montana has “limited requirements” in this respect. Even so, Eliana’s parents feel as though their daughter was failed.
A few days after the incident, the mom updated her Facebook followers with a secondary post about Eliana’s injuries. “She’s in much better spirits today. I’m happy to say the bruising and swelling is coming down a little,” she wrote.
“It’s amazing how resilient babies are,” she continued. And thousands of shares and likes later, Eliana’s story had gone viral. Let’s hope that others will learn from this unfortunate incident and stop it from ever happening again.