Child Burned by Cleaning Product in Day-Care Bathroom, Lawsuit Claims


A small child’s mother is suing the city after the boy suffered an injury in a city-owned day-care center’s bathroom, according to a complaint filed yesterday in State Supreme Court in the Bronx.

The mother, Cylinda Whitted, claims that employees at Five Star Day Care Center, in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx, improperly applied a cleaning agent called “Odor-A-Way Compactorcide” on the toilet seat. As a result, the suit states, the boy “sustained serious burn injuries on his body.”

The center failed “to follow safety instructions and warning labels on the hazardous chemical agent,” the suit argues. It was negligent in “applying the aforesaid chemical agent to the toilet seat” and in allowing the “toxic” product “to be used in the bathroom of Day Care Center where children of tender years … were enrolled.”

Compactorcide is a pesticide commonly used to kill bugs.

Following the April 12, 2012, incident, the boy “became sick, sore and disabled, causing him to seek and still undergo medical care and attention.” Whitted is seeking damages, including reimbursement for her son’s medical treatment.

In its handbook for day care providers, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services warns about the use of chemicals, including tips like: “Do not spray surfaces when children are at or near them. Allow the surface plenty of time to completely air-dry or wipe the surface dry with a paper towel.” It reminds the reader that household cleaning products, chemicals used in swimming pools, and pesticides to prevent vermin can potentially harm children.

“Chemicals used to kill pests and bugs are very powerful and can be dangerous to the health of children,” the handbook states. “Children need to be protected from exposure to these potent substances. Many of their bodies’ systems are still developing. Contact with these poisons might prevent a child from developing to his/her full potential. Unless it is absolutely necessary, consider avoiding the use of pesticides at your home.”