When a Ohio grandmother duct taped a pacifier to her two-month-old baby's mouth for a "funny" photo there was outrage on Facebook. Franklin County Children Services investigated whether it was an instance of child abuse, but the family insists it was just a joke interpreted the wrong way.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, parents were furious when a nurse taped their baby's mouth shut for being way too noisy.
The Facebook photos in question were posted on Thursday and by Friday Franklin County Children Services had already interviewed the mother and the grandmother, Jackie Sheaks, who was the photographer. Besides the duct taped pacifier photo, the family also created a picture showing the little girl inside a black roasting pan laying next to potatoes.
The girl's mother claims these prop photos were intended to be humorous, not to put the life of her child at risk:
"It was on 10, 15 seconds. Long enough to take a picture. We would never go out of our way to harm these children ever! Ever!"The mother also has two other children and they are all said to be in good health. Mrs. Sheaks also explained the circumstances for how she decided to do the photo shoot:
"We're not horrible people that they are making us out to me. It started as just a joke; we put a little tape on the pacifier because we were being silly. We wanted to share it with friends because everybody that knows us, knows we play around like that."When reporters asked if the mom understood why people were reacting so negatively, she claimed there was never any reason to be concerned:
"I really can't answer that because if you really look at the photo, you can see that the duct tape was barely touching her face. My babies, they're perfect. I don't abuse them. I don't even whoop my children. It was just a prop photo. It was supposed to be funny and social media, Facebook blew it out of proportion."The attention the family has received over the incident has the grandparents saying they "feel like we have to relocate." Jackie Sheaks also claims the criticism has "definitely taught us a lesson" and says, "What we think is funny, other people don't and it will never happen again."
Franklin County Children Services handed the case over to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, which is still investigating the case. Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott believes it's not funny at all to duct tape a pacifier to a child's mouth even if it was just temporary:
"Taping, duct-taping a child's pacifier to their mouth, covering up their option to spit that pacifier out, give their airway, this is crazy. It's dangerous."Sheriff Scott says the mother and grandmother will not face criminal charges for these Facebook photos. The details of the case is being handed over to the prosecutor's office and it's possible the family could be cited on misdemeanor charges.