Parents Outraged After 2-Year-Old Swaddled At Daycare

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

Michigan parents Jason and Rebecca Vannest removed their son from daycare after a worker sent them a photo of their 2-year-old swaddled for nap time. They claim their son was punished by being “physically bound” and the Rainbow Child Care Center received a citation for “restricting movement during nap time.”

Jason Vannest says, “It’s our worst nightmare that something is happening to them while they are in the care of someone else.” The couple says the worker who sent the photo expressed “great concern” over the care that was being provided to their son and she was “sick to her stomach about it” so she had to tell them. “She explained to us he was being physically bound for naps, and over time, this happened about a period of a couple of months,” Jason Vannest told WNEM.

There are plenty of people standing up for the daycare, arguing that swaddling is a common practice to soothe children. That may be true for infants and it may be a choice parents make for their toddlers — but for a daycare to do it? The words “physically bound” seem to apply here. How many parents would be comfortable with this?

It’s understandable that these parents are upset, confused, and distressed over seeing an image of their child like this — especially when it’s been delivered by a worker who’s expressed concern. They no longer feel comfortable with the care their child is getting — and that makes perfect sense. If there were behavior issues that caused the workers to feel like swaddling was an optimal choice, shouldn’t that have been discussed with the parents?

What does not make sense is when people take any negative story associated with a daycare and spin it into a reason to judge parents for working. Here are just a handful (of dozens) of reactions to the story from people who think that daycare is the devil:

One of the many reasons I wouldn’t trust anyone outside of close family and friends to watch my children.
So what? The mom should quit her job and take care of her own kids.
Well, gee, maybe this is why when you have a child, you may want to actually be THERE and parent your child if you want to have complete control and say over their care. Why have a kid if you are going to put it in an institution all day so you can have your nice house and cars?
Why plan on having a kid if you do not plan on having your kid with you for the first few yrs? I don’t even get it-they planned this! Looking for a daycare? Preschool is one thing, but daycare is for people who can’t take care of a kid, or are too poor to stay home.

Daycare is a godsend for many. Children get a chance to play together and parents get to work — win, win. The idea that physically being around your child 24/7 is superior to not is such a strange statement, considering all children are different and thrive in different settings.

When stories like this one surface, it’s important to approach them with some reason. The county prosecutor did not move forward with the case and no one was fired. This doesn’t mean the parents weren’t entitled to be upset, but it may mean we don’t have the entire story. The daycare refuses to comment because of issues with confidentiality. Daycares are not universally bad places because some questionable incidents arise from time to time. And blaming these parents for not watching their own child 24/7 is just ridiculous.

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