Broward nanny caught giving baby herbal supplements, deputies say

Parents say woman lied before being confronted with surveillance video

Patricia Demerittee, 46, faces a charge of child abuse.
Patricia Demerittee, 46, faces a charge of child abuse.

PARKLAND, Fla. – A Broward County nanny is facing a charge of child abuse after deputies said she repeatedly gave an infant in her care herbal supplements without the parents’ consent.

According to the arrest report, deputies said 46-year-old Patricia Demeritte admitted that she gave the then 5-month boy Hyland's Calming Tablets on several occasions while working for the child’s parents at their Parkland home.

The parents discovered Demeritte was administering the pills in September, when the child’s mother found a white pill in the boy’s mouth when she went to give the boy his regular medicine, the report said. When questioned by the parents, Demeritte said the pill had fallen into the baby’s area when she pulled out her phone to use it to shine a light. But the surveillance video contradicted Demeritte’s initial story, the report said.

When confronted with the video, Demeritte denied giving the child any pill.  Later, she said the pill was arnica montana, an herbal supplement that supposedly soothe muscles, the report said. She also admitted giving the boy the Hyland's Calming Tablets, which supposedly relieves irritability and anxiousness, the report said.

Deputies said they are unsure what exactly Demeritte gave the child because she changed her story so many times. Demeritte could not give deputies a "reasonable explanation" why she gave the child the pills, the report said.