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Toddler Crawled Out of Day Care's Broken Fence and Onto Busy Road

Photograph by Facebook/Dalia Castro

A Texas mom of two is furious after hearing that her son crawled into oncoming traffic without day care staff realizing it.

Dalia Castro received the heart-stopping phone call from the Baytown day care, 4 Our Kids Learning Academy, on Friday.

"The first thing she told me was, 'You are going to be pissed off — it's about your son. The cops are here if you can get here as soon as possible,'" Castro told Houston news outlet KPRC.

The mom said that while the kids were playing on the playground, her 2-year-old crawled out of a broken chain-link fence and walked onto the busy road. Luckily, two drivers spotted the boy and stopped their cars in time. They picked up the toddler, helped get him back to the day care and called the police.

"I am extremely angry with this day care," Castro wrote on Facebook. "The woman that helped get my son back to safety is the one that called the cops. ... 4 Our Kids Learning Academy did not call the cops nor did they realize my son was not there until these two (witnesses) brought my son back."

Photograph by Facebook/Dalia Castro
Photograph by Facebook/Dalia Castro

The mom also said the day care did not call her immediately. The responding police officer had to demand that the staff call her and inform her to go to the day care.

In her Facebook post, Castro included photos and a video of several gaps in the fence around the day care's playground. She said the director of the day care blamed her son for getting out of the playground. Also, it apparently only took 45 seconds for him to get half a mile from the facility.

But the ratio of staff to children during the incident was unsettling.

"There (are) two teachers and there (are) about 20 kids. One teacher went to change diapers, and she left the teacher with so many kids she couldn't handle on her own, and before anybody knew it, my son was at the street," Castro told KPRC.

Texas requires licensed child care centers to limit one adult to four babies under 1 year old, five toddlers between the ages of 12 months to 17 months, nine children aged 18 months to 23 months, or eleven 2-year-old toddlers. It's one of the highest child care ratios in the nation, and requests to reduce the ratio of children to caregivers in 2016 were quietly rejected by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Castro filed a police report, and Child Protective Services has been notified of the incident.

At the time of writing, 4 Our Kids Learning Academy has not yet made a statement.

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