Sadly there are plenty of parents in the world who neglect to maintain the health of their young children. But a couple from Warren Township in Ohio have been arrested for their unforgivable failure to seek treatment for their children’s insect-related injuries. The two children, aged three and five, were found in a home infested with lice and bedbugs. The two children sustained clear injuries relating to the infestation. Jerry Ponder and Crystal Madison, both 36, were charged with child endangerment. They have been bonded from the county jail, but they are not allowed to have any contact with their children. Luckily, police officers discovered the two children when they were called to the infested house in response to a report of a dispute. The  dispute involved the children’s parents and their landlord. Upon arrival to the home, police noticed that the two kids had welts caused by bedbugs. Also, the young girl’s hair was falling out as a result of untreated lice.

The police report went on to say that everything in the home was dirty and the kids had no mattresses to sleep on. According to Tim Schaffner, with Trumbull County Children Services, a dirty home is not necessarily reason enough to have children removed by the state, but an excessively dirty house can be considered neglect. Children Services and the Health Department were called after the two children were taken into protective custody for their own safety. The children are currently with a foster family. In addition to the charges of child endangerment, the two parents were also arrested on warrants relating to previous charges. The parents both appeared in municipal court and were ordered to be jailed on a five thousand dollar bond. A preliminary hearing is set for February. The landlord may also be arrested on unreported charges, but police have yet to end an investigation into the landlords activities.


Do you think that failing to address injuries relating to bedbugs and lice is sufficient for permanently removing the affected children from their neglectful parents?


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