Toddler recovering after being burned at Florida daycare, family says

A young child is still recovering after he was burned at a daycare in Melbourne. 

This week marks one month since the toddler was airlifted to a burn unit in Gainesville. He is still there with his family and had another operation on Tuesday.

"He was a perfect little boy before this, and that’s heartbreaking and heart-wrenching for me," said the toddler’s mother, Eileen Martin-Hidalgo.

His mother never wanted to see her baby in a hospital room, but that’s precisely where FOX 35 met those parents. It’s where they’ve been for over a month after their son was burned on one side of his body at a daycare in Melbourne.

"Why was he left unattended? Why was he by himself for long periods of time?" asked the father, Julio Ramis. 

According to a Melbourne police report, what happened was an accident. The report states the child was sitting in a high chair near a bottle-warming device. The teachers in the room appeared to be busy with other children, and the victim was able to reach over and accidentally spilled warm water on himself. Police sent their report to the Florida Department of Children and Families to investigate. FOX 35 is not naming the daycare at this time because no criminal charges or a lawsuit have been filed. 

"This is not just a recovery for now where he’s in the hospital now," said his mom. "This is going to be for the rest of his life."


The family’s attorney says the fight for justice is just beginning.

"Holding whoever was accountable for this, that is justice in our eyes," said Guillermo De La Puente, representing the family. 

Even if justice is served, his parents don’t think they could trust a daycare again.

"The distrust of having someone else taking care of our child is now there," said Ramis. 

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A young child is still recovering after he was burned at a daycare in Melbourne.  [Credit: Julio Ramis]

Finding childcare you can trust can be difficult, but FOX 35 found there is a resource out there to help. DCF has a childcare portal online. By typing in a name or location, you can see a care facility’s history and if there have been any accidents or violations.

You can access that resource by clicking here

FOX 35 checked the victim’s daycare on the portal. According to the site, it has a clean record. We also contacted the facility but didn’t hear back when this article was published. 

Now, the family is moving forward, supporting their son.

"Right now, he’s actually talking a little more, playing a little more. Not that long ago, he actually stood up in his crib. That’s a big milestone for a baby his age that’s burned," concluded Martin-Hidalgo. 

His mom says he could be in the hospital for six to eight more months, and they’re celebrating every day he’s healing. Their life is on pause for the time being as they stay in Gainesville for recovery. The family started a GoFundMe to help with growing expenses.