Police in the United States have arrested a man for allegedly putting his baby in a tub of “scalding” water, causing burns that resulted in the infant’s skin falling off.
Matthew Nielsen Beck, 41, was arrested by officers from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office on Nov 12 for aggravated child abuse.
Beck had placed his four-month-old son in the scalding water, causing third-degree burns on about 40 per cent of the child’s body, reported US media, which cited the arrest report.
The father of four told police that the baby cried while he was giving him a bath, but he thought that was normal.
He realised the water was too hot only after “four to five minutes”, when the infant was “burned to the degree that his skin was sloughing off his body”, the arrest report stated.
He tried to relieve the burns with cold running water and cold, wet towels, and by rubbing petroleum jelly on the skin for almost an hour.
“The infant’s skin continued to come off as he rubbed him, tried to cool him down, and put the petroleum jelly on him,” the report said.
Local broadcaster Fox13 news reported that Beck told police he had forgotten to check the temperature when he placed the baby in the water, then got distracted by one of his other children.
Police said Beck did not call his wife, who works as a nurse and was not at home when the incident happened. He also allegedly waited for at least an hour before taking the baby to the hospital.
Police also said they found pieces of the baby’s skin in the bathroom and in the garbage during the course of their investigation.
Beck’s wife, who was not identified, told police that he had previously used extreme water temperature as a form of punishment.
In a previous incident, he had used “extremely cold water” in the bath until the baby “turned blue” to “toughen him up”, police said.
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