Infant Dies at Day Care Home of Asphyxiation

A day care provider has been sued for negligence by the parents of a three-month old boy who died while under her care last February.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the licensed day care provider violated state law and safe sleep practices when she used a travel-size pillow to prop the infant during a nap at her day care home. The infant was also swaddled in a blanket. It was alleged that the baby rolled over onto his face causing asphyxiation.

Asphyxiation is a condition of a severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises from being unable to breathe normally.

The parents of the infant allege that the day care provider was negligent by providing an unsafe sleep environment for their child. The baby’s tragic death is one of eight deaths that occurred this year, while being cared for by licensed day care providers. All of the deaths happened at small in-home day care facilities.

Last week, a state panel that reviewed the child-care deaths over the past decade, issued a report listing a series of safety recommendations. The panel’s report found that three fourths of the 86 deaths that occurred since 2002 involved sleeping infants. Many of these cases involved day care providers who failed to follow safety standards.

The owner of the day care facility is appealing the state’s revocation of her day care license, according to a state licensing website. The revocation order, issued by licensing officials in June, said the owner had received safe sleep training but failed to follow the practices. By placing a pillow near a sleeping infant and swaddling the baby with a blanket, it violates safety standards, which are purposely meant to reduce the risk of death.

Court records show the infant’s family reached a separate, partial settlement with one of the day care owner’s insurance providers.

When parents entrust their children in the care of a childcare provider, they expect that safety practices would be paramount. Just because they receive training in safety procedures, if they do not follow these practices fully, they are negligent. If using a pillow near an infant is “dangerous” or “risky” it should never be used, especially when they know the results can be fatal.

Feel free to comment on this blog post.  Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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