Scalding hot toilet water burns infant; parents arrested

Two parents in South Carolina were arrested earlier this month after scalding hot water in their toilet somehow managed to burn their infant child several weeks before.

On March 18, police received a call about an infant who had sustained burns at a residence in Kingstree, South Carolina, a city of some 3,300 residents about 75 miles north of Charleston. When Williamsburg County deputies arrived on the scene, they discovered a child who had been “severely burned by hot water from the bathroom toilet,” a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators eventually took the temperature of the toilet water using a digital thermometer. According to reports, the thermometer showed the water was nearly 130 degrees Fahrenheit. For reference, most hot tubs reportedly have a maximum temperature of 104 degrees F, and water boils at 212 degrees F.

The sheriff’s office then issued a warrant for the arrest of the child’s parents: 25-year-old Nijel Flowers and 21-year-old Mahogahany Hemingway. Flowers and Hemingway surrendered on April 11, nearly a month after the burning incident. Both were charged with one count of unlawful conduct toward a child, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, and booked into Williamsburg County Detention Center.

“Nijel Flowers and Mahogahany Hemingway placed their infant child at unreasonable risk, affecting the infant’s life, health and safety by allowing the infant to be severely burned by hot water from the bathroom toilet,” the Facebook post stated.

According to the warrants, the parents admitted that they had known the toilet water was “extremely hot” for approximately a year, but “did not take the proper steps to correct the problem.”

The Facebook post from the sheriff’s office emphasized just how young the child is, describing him or her as an “infant” nearly a half-dozen times. Yet it is unclear how a baby so young came in such close proximity to toilet water in the first place.

An investigation into the case remains ongoing.

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