A mother was outraged after learning of a gruesome incident involving her baby and a local childcare center, which has led to a probe by the state health department.
The Donald K. Tucker Childcare Center, located in Newark, N.J., sparked criticism after 8-month-old baby Alanah Barba was found nibbling on a rodent while being supervised by preschool staff.
"I'm very upset because first of all they should've been watching her more carefully," mother Brittany Barba vented to CNN.
The baby was initially found by her grandmother, who assumed that the creature was a toy, but after closer inspection, realized that it was actually a dead mouse.
"There's germs, mice carry disease, disgusted by it all," the baby's aunt Nadiyyah Miller told WABC News.
Miller explained that the entire family is frustrated because the daycare center refused to answer their questions about the incident, even denying them access to view the incident report.
Although the daycare center released a statement explaining that the incident was rare, Miller and Barba have criticized the childcare center for failing to answer a series of questions including how long the rodent was in Alanah's mouth.
"This was an isolated incident. I was really hurt by this. It could have been my child," executive director, Kiburi Tucker said.
The health department has already visited the premise since the incident occurred, offering prevention tips including moving the childcare center furniture away from walls and reorganizing shelves.
"I feel like they (the preschool) were trying to cover it up," Miller said, dismissing Tucker's response to the incidence.
"Who was watching her? They need to watch the kids more," Barba fumed.
"Lately she's been vomiting. Everything she's eaten, she's throwing it back up," she added.
"She could have swallowed it … And- God forbid for saying it- she could have died," a distressed Barba said.
Alanah was immediately taken to the emergency room, and the status of her current condition is unknown.
Barba, a regular volunteer at the childcare center, immediately removed Alanah, who will likely not return.
It is unclear whether Barba plans to take any action against the preschool.