A bad Sunburn can equal Child abuse?

The Nanny state run amok.

BEREA, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky father has pleaded not guilty to a criminal abuse charge that was brought after his 2-year-old son suffered severe sunburn.

Police said 27-year-old Bobby J. Jones’ son was outside for about 90 minutes Sunday, apparently without any protection from the sun.

Authorities said when his mother arrived to pick up the boy, he had golf ball-sized blisters on his shoulders and was burned on his face, chest, back and stomach.

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a Malignant Melanoma survivor, the worst form of skin cancer. I have what is known as Dysplastic Nevi syndrome. Large amounts of moles that cover my body. That’s the probable cause of my battle with skin cancer, though I recall one very severe sunburn when vacationing in Florida with my parents. If what happened in 1970 or 1971 happened today, would my mother and father had been charged with child abuse and me and my four siblings taken into state custody?

The Lexington Herald-Leader has a picture of the sunburn, and its pretty grusome. Which makes me wonder if the boy was in the sun for much more than 90 minutes. The father was without question dumb but as the President of one Council on Child Abuse said-

“Just having a sunburnt child is not criminal neglect,” he said. “It’s stupid, but it’s not criminal.”

I agree. The boy will get better, and it can be years if ever before we’ll know if the sunburn did permanent harm. On the other hand a two-year-old may see his father go to jail because of misguided law enforcement and prosecutors. Now that seems as much like child abuse to me as the bad sunburn was.

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