Police: Baby taken to hospital hours after sustaining third-degree burns

CORDOVA, Tenn. —  A Cordova mother was charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect after her four-month-old child sustained multiple injuries including third-degree burns.

Police said they were called to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital around 10 a.m. Tuesday. That's where doctors told them that a toddler had been brought in for severe third-degree burns from his torso down. Upon examination, they discovered the child also had additional external and internal injuries.

The mother, 24-year-old Chantel Woodson, claimed the burns were the result of a bath. She said she placed the child in the sink around 7 p.m. Monday, filled it with water and then walked away. She said it wasn't until she heard the baby screaming that she returned and noticed he was burned.

Woodson didn't say how the baby sustained the other internal and external injuries.

No one answered at the Cordova address listed for Woodson on Wednesday. But neighbors were surprised to hear the accusations against her.

"It's hard to understand why a mother, especially as close as she it to a kid, would want to do something like that to a child," a neighbor said.

Beryl Wight, Communications and Grant Manager at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, says if someone is possibly aware of any kind of child abuse they are ethically and legally required to report it.

"If you don't have a role model, you might need some assistance. You might need some training on how to be a better parent for your kids and there's no shame in reaching out for help."

Here are some of the many resources in our community helping parents that are struggling: 

  • Parent Support Warm Line, (844)-UPP-WARM. Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Kindred Place (formerly the Exchange Club)
  • The Early Success Coalition (Le Bonheur)
  • Healthy Families Program (Le Bonheur)
  • Universal Parenting Places

Also, to report suspected child abuse, call 1-877-237-0004.