LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas mother faces child abuse charges after police said her daughter likely ingested laundry detergent and suffered second-degree burns, documents said.
Destanii Slater, 32, faces charges of child abuse and neglect with substantial bodily harm and four counts of child abuse, records showed.
Over the course of three days last year, the two-year-old child complained of “stomach pains” while Slater allegedly “ignored her cries,” police wrote in court documents. The child’s grandmother later found skin ripped from the child’s chest and abdomen.
Medical staff at Sunrise Hospital determined the child had received second-degree burns covering about 10% of her body. A doctor told police the burns came from acid and may have come from ingesting a packet of laundry detergent.
The doctor told detectives the child “was playing with [laundry detergent packets], and one may have exploded onto her chest. [Slater] did not change [the child’s] shirt. [Slater] wiped the substance from [the child’s] shirt and went to sleep. [The child] then woke up in the middle of the night and complained of stomach pains by crying and rubbing her abdomen. [Slater] stated she thought it was due to bloating and gas.”
Detectives noted a family member kept “detergents and liquid cleaning chemicals” out in the open in the apartment’s living room, they said. Investigators also said they found an unsecured loaded handgun in the same room where several children slept, documents said.
While the alleged incident happened in 2022, police arrested Slater on a warrant on Friday, March 3, records showed. A detective noted in a report that he had called Slater to try “to convince her to self-surrender” but she refused.
Slater remained in custody at the Clark County Detention Center as of Tuesday on $25,000 bail.
A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Medical Toxicology found that small packets containing detergent may cause chemical burns.
“Dermal laundry pod exposure can result in significant chemical burns,” the report titled “Significant Chemical Burns Associated with Dermal Exposure to Laundry Pod Detergent” said. “Health-care providers should be aware of this complication and should perform thorough dermal decontamination in the event of an exposure. Skin should be thoroughly washed with copious amounts of water, and contaminated clothing should be removed.”
The American Cleaning Institute urges parents and caregivers to keep all cleaning products out of children’s reach.
“Proper storage of all cleaning products is a daily practice that can help prevent accidents in the home,” a post on their website said. “In particular, liquid laundry packets need to be used and stored as directed and kept out of reach of children.”
The Nevada Poison Control Center can be contacted by calling 800-222-1222. In an emergency, call 911.