Mongolian Spots and CPS

I just got a phone call from a friend who was upset to the verge of tears. She’d had Child Protective Services called on her by the daycare that she’s used for more than three years for her first child, and most recently for her six week old baby. Why did they call CPS? Because they mistook the Mongolian spots on her baby’s back for bruises.

I’m not expecting everyone who reads this to know what Mongolian spots are, so here’s a quick explanation. They are birthmarks that occur on almost every baby of East Asian decent and are common in other races as well. They look a lot like bruises, as the photo above demonstrates. (More on Mongolian spots at Wikipedia).

Mongolian spotBut Mongolian spots aren’t bruises. And while I’m pretty sure that the average person who hasn’t seen them before doesn’t know what they are, I would definitely expect the director of a child care facility to know exactly what they are, especially when this facility exists in a THE family fitness center (you can probably guess the one) that presumably services a variety of members from different ethnic backgrounds.

How embarrassing for her, not only to have CPS called on her because of someone else’s inexcusable ignorance at their job, but also because she is an instructor at this facility and was leaving her children with her co-workers while she taught her class.

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3 Replies to “Mongolian Spots and CPS”

  1. makes you think… it’s not quite like encouraging kids to turn in their parents in germany… but it’s not that far off. my favorite personal experience in a similar vein, was a sign in the shanghai airport that said “turn yourself in to the authorities if you are sick”… that was awesome, however, i was afraid to take a picture of it.

  2. Very sad for the parents. I wondered why I hadn’t seen these spots on the various females I researched in Thailand, but your explanation explained it, since I didn’t research pre-pubescent females.

  3. What bothers me most is the idea that this lady thought she was doing the right thing by calling CPS on my friend, and even defended it afterwards. That’s because she’s been taught/conditioned to believe that her responsibility is to call the gov’ment when she thinks there may be a problem, not to address the problem herself.

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