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Severe Sunburns Force Closure of Oklahoma Daycare

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An Oklahoma day care center has seen its doors shut after several children received serious sunburns while placed there.

The day care, which is called Happiness is a Learning Center, is based in Vinita, a small town in northeastern Oklahoma. It was closed on Tuesday after one mother reported that her two sons had received severe sunburns while in the care of Happiness is a Learning Center employees.

Oklahoma Department of Health Services (DHS) is currently investigating the matter. “They’re trying to determine exactly what happened, who was involved and whether or not compliance issues were broken,” noted Debra Martin, a DHS spokesperson.

The mother who made the complaint, Shaunna Broadway, says her sons–who are ages five and seven–were allowed to play outside without shirts or sunscreen. The result: both boys sustained sunburns so severe that they received large blisters on their skin. Broadway says she took her sons to a local hospital but the burns were so severe that the children were transferred to a larger facility in Texas.

“There’s no excuse for this,” Broadway said. “I’m a single parent, and I do all I can. I work Monday through Friday, and they have to go to day care.”

This is not the first time Happiness is a Learner Center has been in trouble with Oklahoma DHS. In fact, the facility has received 19 citations since last September, with one report noting that the center had 17 children packed into a room approved for only nine kids.

At this moment, there are no plans for the facility to reopen.

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