(WOMENSENEWS)–A woman was arrested on felony charges of child endangerment on August 14 for allowing her three children, a 2-year-old and twin 10-month-olds to get sunburned at the county fair in Steubenville, Ohio. However, the father of the children, also at the fair, where he is employed, was not arrested.
A police officer spotted the woman, Eve Hibbits, with her children at the fair, and thought they looked dangerously sunburned. He took the children to a first aid tent and later sent them to the hospital with paramedics after arresting Hibbits.
Hospital officials initially reported that the children had second-degree sunburns, which involve blistering and swelling and can sometimes cause fever, chills and nausea. Later, the hospital changed the diagnosis to first-degree burns, which cause the skin to turn red and tender, but is not dangerous.
Hibbits was jailed for 8 days before prosecutors changed the three felony counts to misdemeanor charges and removed the $15,000 bail, allowing her to be released on her own recognizance. She would have faced five years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each of the felony charges; now she faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for all the misdemeanor counts. She is likely to be given only probation and no more jail time. She has pleaded innocent to the charges. “My intent was for the safety of the children, which was accomplished, and to give her a wake-up call,” Sheriff Fred Abdalla, the arresting officer, told the Associated Press.