Foshan made headlines around the world in 2011 when the toddler Wang Yue was run over by two trucks and left for dead by 19 passers-by. Yesterday another horrifying image of the ill-treatment of a child came out of the city.
Xiao Bao, image courtesy of Southern Metropolis Daily
2 year-old Xiao Bao (alias) was taken to hospital last week with severe burns on his head, scars across his face and a 5cm wound on his left arm. His father admitted responsibility for the injuries but said “he was just educating” the boy, Nandu Daily reports.
Xiao Bao’s 7 year-old sister Rong Rong (alias) told doctors that their father often beat her and Xiao Bao, especially while drunk. Police in Shunde are now investigating their father, Mr. Luo.
On January 2, Mr. Luo took the boy to hospital claiming that two days earlier the toddler had suffered burns while being given a bath and the wounds may now be infected. The doctor who treated Xiao Bao doubted this story, claiming that the burns on his head could only be made by boiling water. The doctor also wanted to know why Xiao Bao had so many other injuries.
On Wednesday (Jan.8), a reporter from the paper went to Foshan No. 1 Hospital and spoke to Rong Rong, who was sitting at her brother’s bed side. Rong Rong explained that, after having a row with her father, her mother walked out several months ago.
For over a year now, Mr. Luo has been beating getting drunk and hitting Rong Rong and Xiao Bao, saying they are too naughty. He has even been known to refuse to feed them if they are bad, the family claims. Neither child had eaten meat in months. Rong Rong’s face has traces of a cigarette burn and the father is accused of threatening to disown the children if they tell any strangers about his behaviour.
Mr. Luo tearfully confessed to the paper that he would scold and hit his children. But he claimed he never hit them hard enough to injure them and he only did it to “educate”. He claimed to feel remorse for his actions and also claims to get sleepy rather than violent when he is drunk.
In answer to the accusation that he never fed his children meat, he said there were two reasons. Firstly, he was quite poor, and secondly, the family did not much like meat anyway, they prefer fish.
As well as having a dysfunctional marriage, Luo is also 1000 yuan behind on his rent, according to his landlady. The landlady also says she often hears the children screaming after he has gone home drunk. Once, she knocked on the door after hearing particularly piercing screams. When confronted, Luo asserted that he had just given the child a smacked bottom.
Luo is now under investigation. It ain’t looking good for him.