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Mother Arrested in Neglect Case After Failing To Care For Child's Dental Needs
April 7, 2017
Florida mom Catlyn Haley was arrested on suspicion of child neglect for failing to care for her 4-year-old daughter's dental needs, reports WJHG. The news channel further reported that though she knew her daughter needed oral surgery, she made no dental appointments for over a year, stating she could not afford the services.
According to a report by the Bay County Sheriff's Office, Haley was first informed that her daughter needed oral surgery for her "severe cavities" in March 2014, reports the Panama City News Herald. The surgery was scheduled, but would also require that her daughter have a separate appointment with a physician prior to the procedure. Haley later canceled the dental appointment, stating that she had not yet taken her daughter to get the prerequisite physical.
Since then at least two other medical professionals saw Haley's daughter and warned her that immediate attention was needed, the paper reported. When she continued to take no action, officers were called to Haley's residence Aug. 27 to arrest her in the medical neglect case. Kenneth Haley, father of the child, was also named, but the paper found no arrest record under his name.
"Any time there's a concern that a medical or dental issue is being untreated that could cause significant or a potential for significant impairment to the health or well being of a child, it's going to be serious," stated Lori Allen, executive director at Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center to WJHG.
Officers reported that the girl's upper front teeth had completely decayed and blackened. She had also stopped brushing her teeth "because it hurts when she does,” noted the Herald.
While Haley's specific financial situation is unknown, a report by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists states that 40 percent of children will have cavities by the time they start kindergarten, with children in poverty being twice as likely than those from families of higher income. Even with Medicaid assistance, Dr. Beverly A. Largent told Dr. Bicuspid that a number of other barriers can prevent families from taking their children to the dentist, including being unable to take time off work.