An investigation into the injury of an infant has prompted the state to suspend the license of a Hays day care.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued an emergency order of suspension Thursday for Smart Sparks, a group day care home operated by Tandra Kay Reif at 1202 Motz.
According the emergency order, on Tuesday, Reif contacted emergency medical services regarding a medical problem a 5-month-old in her care was experiencing. The infant was transported to Hays Medical Center, then airlifted to Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo. The infant is still in the Kansas City hospital, according to HPD Chief Don Scheibler.
The infant was diagnosed with a brain injury, according to the order. The Hays Police Department and KDHE are investigating the injury as an alleged abuse. The Ellis County Sheriff's Office, Kansas City Police Department, and Kansas Department of Children and Families are assisting with the investigation, Scheibler said. HPD requested the emergency order.
Scheibler said eight children — five from clients, three Reif's own — were at the day care at the time of the call, but the injury to the infant is the only subject of the investigation. The day care is licensed to care for a maximum of 12 children, according to KDHE records
The KDHE secretary is authorized under state law to suspend a license without a hearing when the suspension is deemed necessary to protect any child in the home from physical or mental abuse, abandonment or any other substantial threat to health or safety.
KDHE Secretary Susan Mosier signed the order Thursday, and a copy was delivered to Reif that day, the order states. Reif is required to contact all parents or guardians of children in her care of the suspension.
A licensee has the right to petition for a judicial review of the suspension within 30 days of the emergency order.
A search of KDHE records shows no previous complaints or administrative orders issued to Smart Sparks.
The day care’s first annual survey was conducted in November 2014, with further surveys conducted in November 2015 and November 2016.
KDHE records show infractions in 2014 and 2015 that were corrected at the time of the surveys. In 2014, bottles of formula or breast milk were not properly labeled. In 2015, a smoke detector in the basement was found to be not working.
In 2016, one child’s file was found to not have a complete emergency medical release. The KDHE record does not indicate if that was corrected.