HALL COUNTY, GA -- Multiple state agencies are joining forces with Hall County Sheriff's deputies to determine when an 18-month-old child was burned and how.
Megan Seabolt, the boys mother, says teachers at Discovering Basics daycare in Clermont, told her they heard Damon scream at 5:30 pm, just 25 minutes before she arrived to pick him up.
Seabolt says the boy had on a different set of clothes than when he arrived and his leg was covered in lotion.
"When a baby is in childcare the whole point of the care part is for them to be taken care of," said Seabolt.
The daycare owner and her attorney would not talk on camera, but both said by phone the child was having an allergic reaction to a bug bite. They both insist he did not have any burns when he left their facility.
Seabolt says she took her son within the hour to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with second and third degree burns from his stomach to the bottom of his left leg. Pictures show his skin was already starting to fall off. Seabolt says the lotion only made the injuries worse, smothering the skin instead of letting it breathe.
"It was just red and swollen and had blisters," Seabolt said. "The hospital directly said that's a water burn. He has been burned by something that was scalding hot."
Damon was eventually rushed into surgery at the Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta. His damaged skin was patched with skin grafts that will have to be replaced as he grows.
He's now home with the help of pain killers and his mother wants answers.
"I've walked in there numerous times and I've seen him sitting up on that changing table not buckled in by himself. All he's got to do is crawl a few steps and they keep a crock pot of boiling hot water sitting there," she said.
State inspection reports show only minor violations. Last year it was cited for not having the proper child teacher ratio on the playground.
Investigators are now trying to retrieve Damon's clothes to see if it shows any signs of damage and interview workers at the daycare. A spokesperson for Hall County Sheriff's Department says once they know who caused the burns, criminal charges are likely.
A friend of the family has set up a fund to help offset medical bills. Seabolt is also the primary caregiver and unable to work during Damon's treatments. To donate, visit any Regents Bank location. The fund is in the child's name: Damon Gaddis. Account number: 0193357362.