A woman has been charged with child neglect after her 5-year-old weighed just 24.9 pounds, the average weight for a healthy 15-month-old child. Naomie Hall was arrested Thursday after an officer with the Department of Children and Families showed up at her Florida apartment in response to child neglect claims.
According to a document made available to WFTV, the boy was found lying on a filthy living room floor and eating stale cereal off a dirty rug. The DCF officer noticed that the child was emaciated, dehydrated, and had parched skin. Hall, who has two other children, confessed that the special needs child had not been fed for four days.
Hall who is married and has a younger son, as well as a daughter, also told the investigator that medication given to the 5-year-old child to boost his weight allowed him to go for days without food. But said she stopped giving him the medication because it made him drowsy. The mother of three disclosed that she randomly checked on the child to find out if he was hungry. The 24-year-old divulged that she only knew he was hungry when he chewed on his hands or made certain facial expressions.
When the boy was discovered by the DCF officer, he could not stand, walk or speak. The charging affidavit pointed out that the child was dressed in soiled clothing and appeared not to have taken a shower in a long time. Moreover, the boy had no form of education or training and seemingly could not communicate with members of his family.
The Daily Mail reports that the eagle-eyed case officer noticed that the child was in a terrible state and rushed him to the hospital. A doctor detected that the 5-year-old had blisters on his feet and that his hands had turned orange and were peeling.
He also had high levels of sodium in his body, which is a stark sign of dehydration. His 24.9-pound weight shocked medical staffers because the average weight for a 5-year-old is 45 pounds. The boy was placed in the intensive care unit as a precaution against cardiac arrest and seizures, where medical staffers are keeping him under close supervision and feeding him.
Naomie Hall was arrested Thursday and taken to jail when she refused to talk to police officers.
She was released Friday evening on a $35,000 bond.
A police report states that the 24-year-old has health insurance but has refused to use it. According to the Daytona Police Department, Naomie Hall also lives within walking distance of a pediatrician who recommended a gastroenterologist to her in April but has refused to book an appointment.
[Featured Image by Coolmilo/Thinkstock]