It's been nearly a week since two Oklahoma boys suffered severe sunburns after their day care center left them unprotected from the sun for hours on end at a local water park. Graphic photos of the boys' burns — they were taken to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns and have since been airlifted to a Texas children's hospital for more specialized treatment — have gone viral, causing an uproar about the role the day care workers had in the situation.
According to the boys' mother, Shauna Broadway, the adults said they didn't have sunscreen and the boys refused to keep their shirts on at the park. But Broadway believes there's more to the story. "Right's right, and wrong's wrong, and there's no excuse for this," she told Tulsa television station KOTV. "I'm a single parent, and I do all I can. I work Monday through Friday, and they have to go to day care."
"They're trying to determine exactly what happened, who was involved and whether or not compliance issues were broken," Oklahoma Department of Human Services spokeswoman Debra Martin said.
In the meantime, the Happiness Is a Learning Center day care, which has been cited by the DHS 19 times since Sept. 30, has closed.
According to doctors who haven't seen the boys in person, the boys should recover completely, but they do stand an increased risk of developing skin cancer later in life. "Unfortunately, severe burns in childhood in this natures are an independent risk factor for skin cancer later in life," says Dr. Barney Kenet, a New York-based dermatologist.