Warning: Graphic images
A US grandmother has admitted to a horrific case of abuse on a two-year-old girl, telling authorities that she dipped her into boiling water because she was "having a bad day".
Jennifer Vaughn of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been charged with aggravated child abuse over the August 11 incident which left her two-year-old step-granddaughter Kaylee Robinson with third-degree burns that might still cost the tragic tot her feet.
The toddler's mother, Brittany Smith, sold ABC2 news that Vaughn was looking after the child when she called her in a panic, saying that Kaylee had been burned.
Vaughn told Smith to come over immediately but refused to give more detail.
When Smith arrived she found her daughter screaming in agony.
The toddler was rushed to hospital, then to a specialist unit where doctors are battling to save her feet from amputation.
Vaughn later admitted to police that she used scalding water on her feet to punish the child because she "having a bad day".
Local police detective Rocky Potter told ABC2 that the injuries were "the worst scald burns I'd ever seen".
Brittany Smith still doesn't know when her daughter will be able to walk again.
"It's not right," she said. "There is nothing in this world that a 2-year-old can do, no matter how bad they lashed out at you," she told ABC2.
Speaking to Metro US, Smith said: "The skin is not really repairing itself in the way the doctors hoped it would. Kaylee is in a lot of pain."
"She is at high risk of infection and could end up losing them."
Vaughn has been charged under Haley's Law, a US statute that makes the offence a Class A felony and could land Vaughn with up to 80 years in prison.
Smith told Metro that any punishment the court can give isn't enough.
"'If I had my way, she would have exactly the same punishment given to her that she inflicted on my daughter. I would like someone to burn her feet just the same."