Overwhelmed mother accused of scalding toddler

Gabrielle Shantel Collins, 22, is charged with injury to a child. (Gabrielle Shantel Collins, 22, is charged with injury to a child.)

November 9, 2011 4:11:20 PM PST
A pregnant mother accused of severely scalding one of her four children tells police she's overwhelmed and needs help.

Gabrielle Shantel Collins, 22, is charged with injury to a child. Collins told police that on October 21, her four children had gotten dirty with cake. Her three-year-old child was reportedly the messiest, so she went to give the girl a bath.

According to court documents, Collins filled the tub halfway with hot water and lifted the girl in. She told police that she held the girl in the water while the child screamed and cried that it was too hot. Collins said she didn't realize how hot the water was, and she didn't mean to burn the girl.

The three-year-old was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital by ambulance where she was treated for severe scald burns to both legs. The injuries run from her feet all the way up her legs, and doctors say they have the potential to result in permanent scarring or impairment. The girl will require follow up medical treatments, including physical therapy.

Collins told police that she is overwhelmed with four children and one on the way. She said she needs helps with all of her children and feels she can not handle all of them.

Bail on the felony charge of injury to a child has been set at $30,000.