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Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong

Domestic helper in Hong Kong accused of putting bleach in six-month-old girl’s baby bath solution

Suspicions raised after mother felt minor burn and her child’s skin turned reddish colour while preparing bath

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 1:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 9:40pm

Hong Kong police arrested a domestic helper on suspicion of ill-treating a six-month-old on Monday after she was accused of putting bleach into a bottle of baby bath solution.

The incident came to light when the infant’s mother prepared a bath for the child at home in Lok Ha Square, Fo Tan, at about 12.30pm on Monday.

Suspicions were raised when the 35-year-old mother felt a minor burn on her hand and the child’s skin turned a reddish colour, according to a police source.

It is understood the Filipino maid, 39, admitted she had added liquid beach to the baby bath bottle, noting it had been used to clean the toilet.

Officers and paramedics were sent to the flat when the mother called police. The infant was then taken to Prince of Wales Hospital for a medical examination.

After inquiries, police arrested the domestic worker on suspicion of ill-treating or neglecting a child. Detectives from Sha Tin criminal investigation unit are handling the case.

Initial information showed the helper had worked for the family for about 1½ years and had not had a good relationship with the employer, the source said.

In Hong Kong, most child abuse victims suffer at hands of parents

He added the maid tendered her resignation on Saturday and her last working day was on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the suspect was still being held for questioning and had not been charged.

In Hong Kong, wilfully assaulting, ill-treating or neglecting a child below the age of 16 under one’s care in a manner likely to cause injury carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, according to the Offences against the Person Ordinance.

According to official statistics, the Social Welfare Department handled 236 cases of child abuse in the first three months of this year. About 45.3 per cent of the cases involved physical abuse.

There were 947 reports in the whole of 2017, an increase of about six per cent from the 892 reported in 2016.