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MURRAY — A Murray mother filed a police report after claiming her daughter sustained injuries at a VASA day care just a week after another mother filed a separate police report for the same reason at the same day care.
As any first-time parent knows, leaving a child in the care of others can be a daunting prospect.
Laurel Dowse, a first-time mother from Murray, felt a bit apprehensive leaving her young daughter, Hadley, in the VASA gym day care in Murray. However, it was after Hadley's fourth or fifth time staying at the day care that Dowse noticed something wrong.
“When I went to pick her up I immediately noticed her eye was red and swollen like she had been hit,” Dowse said. “I asked the worker if she saw how that happened to her and she said ‘No, didn’t she come in with her eye looking like that?’”
Dowse said she assumed Hadley had “bonked her head” and didn’t worry further, but later noticed scratches on the side of her daughter’s neck as well as on the back of her neck.
“I was really upset so I … went back in to talk to the manager and asked for video footage,” Dowse said. “I just wanted to see what happened to her, but they said they only have live-feed cameras in the day care, that they don’t have recorded video.”
According to Dowse, the manager of the gym then filed an incident report and spoke with the day care employees, but told Dowse that none of them had seen anything. They explained that Hadley had been “out of the line of sight" at certain moments due to a play structure with a slide that blocked part of the room.
The manager also mentioned that there had been a child at the day care that day with whom they had had issues of aggression, Dowse said.
Dowse said she was contacted by a corporate employee who apologized for the incident and refunded Dowse the day care fee. However, the next day Dowse felt she needed to speak to her again.
“I just really felt like someone should have seen what happened,” Dowse said. “I feel like the amount of injuries that were on her ... took a little bit of time to do that to her, she had so many injuries.”
The corporate employee expressed trust in her employees and mentioned again that accidents happen, Dowse said.
“I hope it was just another child, but at the same time, if there is an aggressive child there, the child should be watched always ... and just by the looks of it, there were maybe 15 to 20 kids there with two workers watching the kids and one at the desk behind a computer,” Dowse said.
KSL.com has reached out to VASA gym management, which declined to comment.
Dowse posted about the incident on Facebook where it was shared nearly 100 times and received almost 120 comments, many of which came from other mothers who claimed to have had similar experiences with that day care location.
One commenter even mentioned another mother, Naomi Nasman, who had had a similar experience at the same gym. Nasman claimed her son became sick after ingesting cleaning supplies when one of the day care workers left the break room door open.
Nasman then filed a police report in regards to the incident on Nov. 30, according to Sgt. Ken Bass, which is still under investigation.
After reading the comments, Dowse also decided to file a police report with the Murray City Police Department on Dec. 5, which has been confirmed as an active investigation by Sgt. Ken Bass.
“I just feel like they’re not paying close enough attention to these children or maybe there’s way too many children,” Dowse said. “What I want from this VASA is for them to make changes and I want them to be visible changes. I think they need recorded video footage and I think they need more staff."
Liesl is a web reporter for KSL.com and a student at Brigham Young University. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.