Step-grandmother dips toddler’s feet in boiling water because she ‘misbehaved’

The vast majority of people have within them a natural urge to protect, or at the very least treat with kindness, babies and young children.

Which is why it’s especially abhorrent to hear tell of people abusing or neglecting them. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how some find it within themselves to do harm to those who are most vulnerable, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

A step-grandmother in Tennessee has been charged with aggravated child abuse after placing her two-year-old step-granddaughter’s feet in boiling water. The reported reason? Because she was ‘having a bad day’.


Warning *** Article contains images readers may find distressing

As per the Daily Mail, pictures show the little one’s feet covered in burns and blisters after the incident, which saw her partially dipped into boiling water.

Two-year-old Kaylee Robinson sustained terrible injuries from the ordeal, which took place on August 11 when she was being babysat by her step-grandmother Jennifer Vaughn in Chattanooga.

Speaking to ABC 2, the toddler’s mother, Brittany Smith, said Vaughn had admitted to putting Kaylee’s feet in the water because she was ‘having a bad day’.

As per reports, Vaughn has since been charged by authorities and is being held on a $150,000 bond.

She is now facing additional charges after the Rhea County Grand Jury added three more counts of aggravated child abuse in October.

Under the law and if convicted, Vaughn could be sentenced to anywhere from 15 to 80 years in state prison.

Smith shared several images of her daughter’s feet, with Rhea County Sheriff’s Department detective, Rocky Potter, describing them as “the worst scald burns I’ve ever seen.”

“These were very, very disfiguring burns,” Potter said. “It’s among the worst injuries I’ve ever seen, even in training videos.”

GoFundMe / Justice For Kaylee

Smith told Metro that she fears Kaylee’s feet are getting worse, not better.

“It’s terrible, it’s just so stressful,” she said.

“Kaylee has had two operations so far, but they haven’t worked. The skin is not really repairing itself in the way the doctors hoped it would. She’s in a lot of pain.

“They [surgeons] are going to take some skin from her thigh next week to try and repair her feet.”

GoFundMe / Justice For Kaylee

Smith explained to Metro that she had gone out to take her two older children swimming, leaving Vaughn – who is the mother of her fiance – with Kaylee. Not long after dropping the baby off at Vaughn’s home, though, she got a call telling her to come back.

“I could hear Kaylee screaming in the background,” Smith said.

“She said that I had to come home right away.”

Vaughn initially lied to Smith and told her she had only left Kaylee in the bath.

She eventually fessed up to her horrible act, saying she had dipped Kaylee’s feet in boiling water because she was ‘misbehaving’.

“It’s not right,” Smith said to ABC 2. “There is nothing in this world that a two-year-old can do, no matter how bad they lashed out at you.”

In August, Smith told Metro US that the injuries to her baby girl’s feet was so bad that skin grafts may not take. “It’s terrible, it’s just so stressful. Kaylee has had two operations so far, but they haven’t worked. ‘The skin is not really repairing itself in the way the doctors hoped it would. Kaylee is in a lot of pain,” she said.

What a vile and unforgivable act. We can only hope Vaughn gets a fitting punishment for this heinous crime. 

We’re sending our thoughts and prayers in the direction of little Kaylee!

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