A Florida mom has been arrested after authorities say that she neglected her child’s dental health to the point of him needing surgery. ABC News 7 reports that Catlyn Haley has been charged with various crimes associated with child neglect, but a detailed report has not yet been released. What’s more, the father of the four-year-old victim has also been named as a co-defendant in the case.
Haley was arrested on Thursday after authorities were alerted to her four-year-old daughter’s condition. They were evidently alerted by medical professionals who were concerned that the 21-year-old mother was not paying attention to the child’s medical needs. The Florida mom was told by multiple people, including a dentist, that the child needed surgery to remove the teeth that had begun rotting in her mouth. According to reports, the child’s teeth were rotted to the gum-line, and were black.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the four-year-old girl told a dentist that she no longer brushed her top teeth because it hurt her too much. The severity of the rotting teeth in her mouth rendered dental professionals unable to repair or save them. Because she had never been taken to a dentist by her mother, she was in need of oral surgery to repair. Authorities claim that the Florida mom chose to ignore the multiple warnings that her daughter needed surgery, which caused the little girl unnecessary pain and suffering.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first Florida mom to be in hot water over neglecting her child’s oral health needs. In 2009, a Hernando County woman chose to ignore a dentist’s orders to seek treatment for her son. She chose to wait an entire year after she was told that the boy was experiencing severe dental decay. The child was in need of several fillings and a root canal, but the mother allegedly chose to ignore the child’s needs for at least a year. In the same year, another Florida mother named Tamika White refused to follow up on a dentist’s recommended treatment after her young daughter was found to be suffering from advanced tooth decay. Police were dispatched to handle this case of neglect as well.
Oral healthcare is extremely important for both children and adults. Failing to seek treatment for advanced tooth decay could cause complications in a person’s entire body, including their heart and circulatory system. Furthermore, decaying teeth could lead to dental abscesses, which can absolutely prove fatal.
[Photo: Bay County Sheriff mugshot/Catlyn Haley]