Parents of a 3-year-old boy told MyFoxMemphis their child was left on a daycare bus on Friday for nearly five hours. They said the child was strapped into his seat and banging on a window when a passerby noticed him and alerted police.
The parents said they had very mixed emotions. They were furious at Tree of Learning Child Care, but they were thankful their son was okay.
When they first saw their child after the ordeal, the parents said the boy was soaking wet from sweating on the hot bus. The temperature on Friday soared to 94 degrees with a heat index of close to 100.
"A guy was walking down the street and he heard my son beating the window and hollering, and he said he ignored it at first but something just told him to go back,” the child’s father, Shuntario Reed, said.
The child was put on the bus by his parents at 7:30 a.m. Police knocked on their door with the news of him being left on that bus at 1:30 p.m.
"Honestly, I started crying because I was thinking the worst,” Reed said.
The three-year-old was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe dehydration.
Tree of Learning Child Care had told the father their son was sick and they were about to bring him home.
“But nobody got a phone call,” Reed said. “You didn't call mom. You didn't call dad. You didn't call grandma. You know all these emergency numbers you didn't call anyone."
The Tree of Learning Child Care declined to comment on the parents' allegations about their son being left on the bus. But MyFoxMemphis reported the daycare had been cited for two violations in the past two years.
In March of last year, a caregiver left a child unattended during mealtime. In March of this year, a sleeping child was not checked by touch every 15 minutes during an assessment.
Reed told the station to expecdt another violation to appear because he and his wife filed a complaint against the daycare with the Division of Human Services.
As for the well-being of the three-year-old, the family simply said they’re happy to have him home.
“I can hold him right now,” Reed said. “He would have a panic attack, so I can’t imagine him on that bus by himself for so long, hollering for so long.”
MyFoxMemphis also learned the daycare did, in fact, call the mother between 9 and 9:30 a.m., while the child was still stranded on the bus.
But that phone call had nothing to do with the toddler. Learning Tree Child Care called to inform the mother she had been hired by the daycare and wanted to know when she could begin working.
The mother told MyFoxMemphis she did not accept the job and she was looking for a new daycare center for their son.
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