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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Death in CA Home Daycare -Please Help
Unregistered 08:45 AM 09-22-2009
Please help our family. Our 4 month and 8 days old precious healthy baby girl passed away in a large home daycare after going there for 1 day. She passed away only 3 hours after being dropped off there. We need to know the laws in California at a large family daycare. Somethings we're unable to find on the internet.

Our daughter was put to sleep in a back bedroom of a home daycare. Her autopsy is listing her death as SUID - Sudden UNEXPECTED Infant Death, and it is undertermined whether external factors were involved in her death. It's NOT SIDS.

Here's our issues in getting the daycare license providers license revoked. Below is the timeline for that day:

1350 - 911 was called after baby was found blue and stiff. Daycare provider claims she checked on napping baby every 15 minutes.
(We know from Coroner that rigor mortis does not set in within 15 minutes, we believe our baby was not checked on for at least 30 minutes.)

1353 - Paramedics arrive on scene. Baby's was unresponsive and recessitation was tried and she was taken to hospital via ambulance.

1412 - Baby arrives at hospital

1420 - L.A. County Coroner's Investigator and Homicide Detectives arrive to start investigation of baby's death.

NOTHING WAS THERE TO INVESTIGATE, ALL EVIDENCE WAS GONE! The baby's bed was taken apart and ran to an outside storage shed, and the crib sheets/blankets were already in the middle of a wash cycle in the washing machine only 20 some minutes after our baby left the home.

The daycare provider was asked why she put everything away so quickly before an investigation could take place and she claim that she, "panicked and wanted everything out of the room, and the was afraid of germs".

Is this what a licensed daycare professional has been instructed to do by the State of CA? Are we wrong in having a HUGE problem with this? We believe the daycare provider's priorities minutes after a baby passed away in your home would maybe to be concerned with the other 10 children in your care, maybe calling their parents informing them of what just happened, talking to the remaining officers, maybe even being a little apprehensive to go back in the house right away after such a devistating event had just happened. Defintely not being in hurry mode to disassemble, carry out, put things in wash, etc.

Because our baby's death was listed as SUID and with the amount of fluid in her lungs, which means she suffocated but because the sheets/blankets were not there for the Investigators to investigate when they got there, they cannot determine what other external factors were involved in her death.

Please, we have never been in the daycare business and have respect for those whose choose this as a profession, but does this not sound right with anyone else or just us? We think the daycare providers license should be revoked. Her judge poor judgement or lack of on our babies death should not be allowed to happen again.

What we need are the laws of CA at a large home daycare, what are the laws/rules for sleeping infants in your home? And what have daycare providers been instructed to do if something such as this happens in your home?

Thank you.
GretasLittleFriends 02:38 PM 09-22-2009
I'm very sorry to hear about your daughter's death. I can't imagine what you must be feeling or going through. I wish I had some help as far as CA laws to give you but I don't.

However, I can tell you, as a licensed family daycare provider in Minnesota, we're not instructed at all about what to do after a baby dies in our care. As far as sleeping arrangements for infants, daycare providers are required to check their cribs and playpens monthly for safety issues and recalls. From what I read in MN Statute 9502.0245 Subp. 9 I find nothing about bedding and blankets being in the crib with the infant. In my home the infant is laid on his back in the crib, then covered with a light blanket, one that has been brought from his home, only because he prefers that blanket.

I can see both sides of the coin in this case. I can understand the thought of germs and wanting to decontaminate as quickly as possible to help prevent the spread of something potentially deadly. At the same time I can also understand that she could have started calling and informing parents they need to come get their children. Not knowing her and the circumstances involved, to me, my first reaction reading this was the woman must have been in shock. People do strange and unexpected things when they're in shock.
Former Teacher 03:00 PM 09-22-2009
First and foremost, I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words to say at this time from us to you that will comfort you but please know your daughter is now your guardian angel and she will always be.

I don't know about home daycare. I worked in a small licensed center. Rules are different. We can not leave the baby room at all. There must be a staff present at all times. I know that whenever I was in the infant room no matter how short of a time I would always check to make sure the babies were breathing.

You mentioned blankets. In TX we can have NOTHING in the crib. No blankets, no toys, no stuffed animals, no bumper pads, nothing at all.

In TX, if this would occur, naturally it would follow a chain of command. 911 (EMS/police), parents, and licensing. The way I would see it, it would be a crime scene only because a death occurred. You would have the ME come out etc... I don't believe the provider should ve done what she did. She could have very well destroyed the evidence that could have saved her. But like Greta said, maybe she was in shock.

Please keep us posted. Our thoughts are with you.
kitkat 08:07 PM 09-22-2009
I am so sorry for your loss!

I don't know what the CA laws are, but you should contact your local child care resource and ref. Below is a link. Call them and they should be able to answer your questions. I hope you are able to find the answers you are looking for.
momof3 05:43 AM 09-23-2009
i am so sorry for your loss. I know in the state of Maryland, providers are required to take a mandatory SIDS class. There are to be NO blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, or anything else in the crib or pack n play with any infants. However, I know of several providers that give these to babies anyway. There was a SIDS case just recently at a daycare center for Citicorp. I do believe that they are not allowed to leave the infant room, but it occured anyway. From my sids class, I learned that an infant is more likely to succumb to sids within the first week of entering a daycare. And sids occurs more frequently in daycare settings than at home. I know of a provider who also had a SIDS death in her care, and to be honest with you, licensing did NOTHING. They didn't even show up to her home until 2 weeks after the incident. Not only that, after she called licensing to tell them the ambulance took the baby away (he was still alive at this time, with CPR), they never called back to check on the outcome. The provider called them to tell them he passed. If you are uncomfortable with the lack of response, my advice is to make sure this is being looked into. Did this happen soon after vaccinations? I strongly believe that a majority of sids cases occur after the 5 month vaccinations (just personal opinion from cases in this state, I've read about) Please keep us informed. Was she your only child? My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, and I hope you can eventually find some peace knowing you will be with her again someday.
jen 10:11 AM 09-23-2009
I am so sorry for your loss. I am a bit surprised by the providers response, but it may simply be that she was in shock. I know that none of us is ever prepared for such a thing to happen. A 4 month old shouldn't have had anything other than a crib sheet.
Unregistered 04:26 PM 10-03-2009
My heart goes out to you and your family. I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

I had a death of a baby girl in my daycare last year. She was 4 months and 1 day old when it happened. I'm sure every one reacts differently and no one will know for sure how they will react until it happens to them. But I'd like to tell you about my story.

I went to wake her from her nap as I always did and found her unresponsive, it literally took my breath away for a moment. It was my worst nightmare come true. I quickly carried her into the next room and called 911 (in hind site I should have started CPR for 1 min first then called). The ambulance was there within one and a half minutes. I was in the middle of CPR when they arrived and took her to the hospital.

The investigators were there within minutes. Everyone helped make sure the rest of the daycare kids were taken care of. I was such a mess I couldn't think, or speak. I was scared for her, her family, and myself. What will her parents do without her I thought. How will they ever make it through this.

Then the investigators started to ask me questions and reality set in. I didn't do what I was supposed to do as a daycare provider. Instead I cared for her like she was my own. That was my first mistake. I laid her on her side because I thought it would help her congestion. I laid her with her favorite blanket (folded at her feet so it wouldn't go over her head) because her parents did the same thing and I wanted her to be comfortable. In a non-daycare setting, no one would have called me a bad parent. But because it was a daycare setting the state was all over me. I feel guilty everyday of my life, not for treating her like I've treated all other babies I've cared for, with love and compassion, but for not doing what the state told me to do.

Before the investigators left they asked if they could take the pack & play and her blanket to the lab to analyze it. I told them to take whatever they needed. They also took photos of the room and used a doll in place of the baby so I could show them how she was lying when I found her. They continued to ask questions. Did anyone else go upstairs? When did I last check on her? Did I hear her cry at all? What was the temperature of the room? Did she have a blanket? Were the shades open or closed? Was anyone else in the room with her? Was the fan on in the room? When did she last eat? When was she last changed? I can't remember anymore but you get the idea. I was questioned 3 different times I think.

People told me I should have lied so they wouldn't take away my license. They were right, if I had lied, I would have my license right now. But it wouldn't have been the right thing to do, morally or legally.

On the county side of things my county licensor was no help at all. If anything she made it worse. She had no idea what she was doing. She read what I told her had happened. After reading it she said it doesn't look like you did anything wrong so you can go ahead and keep doing daycare. My families were all excited their kids could still come to my house and I decided to open my daycare back up a couple weeks later. A week later she comes to my house with a police officer and tells me the state is suspending my license and that I should find another line of work because they'll probably revoke it. I asked her why in the world didn't she tell us that in the first place. Why did she have to go and get our hopes and the hopes of my daycare families up. That was just the first of many screw ups that took place over this 4 month process. I know all of this is nothing compared to what the baby's family went through but it still upset me because the state made me feel like such a bad mom and like I didn't care for my kids. Those kids were my life. I would do anything for them.

The state did revoked my license for not following SIDS state of MN guidelines. I have mixed feelings on this but it doesn't change the fact that she is gone and her parents will never be able to tuck her into bed and kiss her good night again.

I wasn't there the day your baby went to heaven. I don't know what happened. Maybe the daycare mom panicked. Maybe she was like me and didn't do what the state told her to do as a daycare provider. Maybe the state had her so afraid of losing her license she did what she thought she had to do to save her daycare. That doesn't excuse what she did one bit. But I am hopeful that morally, she did everything she could to take care of your baby before she died and that the provider's heart was in the right place.

I don't know if any of this will be helpful to you, but I hope it will.

Only God has all the answers you are looking for. Trust that he will take care of your baby in Heaven as well as you here on Earth. GOD'S GRACE is the best feeling in the world and I pray for it to come to you and heal your pain.

May God bless you and your angel in Heaven.
tinytotzdaycare 09:34 AM 10-04-2009
These stories are so touching and a reminder of all the things that providers risk when watching other children in their home. I made a decision when I opened my childcare program that I would only enroll those 12 months and older. A member of our family lost their 4 month old son to sids at the dc providers home. They didnt blame her and the state allowed her to conitinue but she made her own choice not to, she just couldnt handle it. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I thank everyone for sharing their stories.
mac60 02:40 AM 10-05-2009
Wow, so sad. But, for centuries babies have been put to sleep with a blanket in the crib/bed. How many of you go to sleep with nothing over you. This whole sids thing is scary. When my own children were babies, it was recommended that they be placed on their belly. Then that changed. I honestly don't think the experts really know what causes it-sids-but I personally think that the whole sids thing is just an unfortunate thing that happens to very young infants. Not because some one put a blanket over an infant to keep them warm or put their favorite stuffed animal in the crib.

As far as home daycare vs center daycare......people choose home daycare because it is more personal and homey.

And question....many doctors will recommend a young infant to be swaddled, how can you do that when you are not allowed to put an infant in a crib with a blanket.
Unregistered 05:32 PM 01-15-2010
I have an in home daycare in CA and recently had a baby die unexpectedly (Dr. says likely SIDS) we haven't heard back from coronors office yet about autopsy-for like heart issues etc) anyway, I think it is very weird for this woman to have moved stuff and washed stuff on that day before people got there. It is suspicious. I was so freaked out when this happened to me I couldn't even tell you what I had for breakfast let alone go move furniture and do laundry!!! Who knows though, maybe she was scared and some people do weird stuff when they are scared. But at first look it sounds fishy. Good luck to you and sorry for your loss, that is horrible!
Crystal 09:14 AM 01-16-2010
California licensing regs:

I am in California. In the event that something like this happens, NOTHING should be touched by the provider. If she had called 911 AS SOON as she found the infant non-responsive, she would not have had time to break down the play-pen, and wash the bedding.

My heart goes out to you and your family, I am so sorry for your loss.
Crystal 09:36 AM 01-16-2010
I am searching for more information for you. I'd lik to point you to a resource that may be helpful to your family during this most difficult tragic prayers are with you.
Crystal 09:38 AM 01-16-2010
Also, the California Child Care Law Center may be of some assistance to your family, and can tell you the specific regualtions pertaining to a provider's responsibility in responding to emergencies within the facility:
Crystal 10:06 AM 01-16-2010
I just realized this is from last year.....I wish the person who drug it back up would have left it alone.....
Carole's Daycare 12:25 PM 01-19-2010
Originally Posted by mac60:
Wow, so sad. But, for centuries babies have been put to sleep with a blanket in the crib/bed. How many of you go to sleep with nothing over you. This whole sids thing is scary. When my own children were babies, it was recommended that they be placed on their belly. Then that changed. I honestly don't think the experts really know what causes it-sids-but I personally think that the whole sids thing is just an unfortunate thing that happens to very young infants. Not because some one put a blanket over an infant to keep them warm or put their favorite stuffed animal in the crib.

As far as home daycare vs center daycare......people choose home daycare because it is more personal and homey.

And question....many doctors will recommend a young infant to be swaddled, how can you do that when you are not allowed to put an infant in a crib with a blanket.
This whole thing is so tragic, for everyone. My prayers for the families and providers who have lost a little one. I have wrestled with whether or not to provide care for infants for that same reason. There are many theories about SIDS- from shots, to a short circuit in the temperature/breathing regulatory system in the brain. We all have SIDS training, but it doesn't tell us what to do in case of a death at all- I can imagine the sheer horror, shock and panic. Training tells your head what to do, but kind of like martial arts classes give you techniques for defense, preparation for the actual panic of the moment is another thing altogether. I never take new families with infants, only existing families as they give birth to new ones. Still, most babies are put to sleep at home with a blanket, and many won't sleep without it. Also "back to sleep" is fine, but babies roll over sometimes by 3 months. Parents also bring sick babies to daycare more than anyone wants to admit- and parents anxious to get to work and pay the bills may medicate to hide symptoms, or ignore "colds" that can be very serious in small babies. In trying to allow babies quiet to sleep in they are out of sight, and a baby monitor picks up cries, but not silence. The risk to a provider and their family is so huge its a wonder any woman can go back to work before 6 months, at least. The removal of the "evidence" in this case as a cop's wife makes me a bit nervous, however, if the provider thought the child had swine flu or pneumonia and freaked, it could happen. Nothing can bring that beautiful baby back, and even if it wasn't the providers fault the baby died, her life and her families will be destroyed as well. So the real question is, what is to be done? Modify training and create a protocol for how to handle a SIDS emergency. Just like CPR and our fire drills, if we practice and repeat a set approved procedure enough, hopefully even in shock we can go through the appropriate motions to reassure the family, ourselves and the licensor that everything was done to care appropriately for that baby. Make sure parents of newborns know and understand the child can't sleep w/ a blanket at daycare, and why- encouraging them to not make the baby "blanket dependent" so there is even a moments temptation to comfort an infant with their blanket. Make parents see the SIDS and Shaken baby videos in the hospital to understand the risk, so they check up on the provider by surprise often in the initial phases of care to ensure things are actually done as the provider states they are. Have a handbook that is discussed at interviews w/ infant parents about SIDS and other health issues, and let the parent know the slightest suspicion of poor health- congestion, excessive crying etc in any baby under 6 or 8 months old requires immediate pickup by a parent.
Unregistered 04:52 PM 03-11-2011
I am going through what you went through. I want to know what was the outcome by the police department / regardless if they said SUIDS, and did you also go after her in a civil suit. In my case, the provider actually admitted finding him unresponsive and then doing nothing for a perior of time and returning to work. She said she panicked because in a large license children are NEVER allowed upstairs. My provider never called 911 or did CPR or anything to help my son. And whats outrageous is it took a week for the county to shut her down! Her license is now temporarily suspended and I want to know what happened in your case. Did your horrible daycare provider get her license back or still watch children. In my case the investigation is still ongoing so I dont even know if any legal charges will be filled. Were charges filled in your case? And if so, what was the sentenance?
Cat Herder 02:36 PM 03-13-2011
My own son died in daycare the same way.... It is tragic for everyone involved.

Each case is different and there are no set ground rules...

I am so sorry this many people here have gone through this.

I do know this post is over a year old and pray the OP is at peace, now.
sissy 10:17 AM 06-07-2011
I know what it's like to lose a child and my heart and prayers go out to you. But blaming the CCP, isn't that a bit much? I am also a provider and I would not intentionally harm one my kids but sometimes things happen in our care that is unexplainable. We are only human. Yes, we have rules to follow but sometimes things happen to prevent us from following the rules to a T. Regardless whether or not she put a pillow, covers, toy etc:, in the crib or checked your baby every 15 minutes, more than likely the same outcome might have happen. Just because this happen doesn't mean she's a bad person or a bad CCP. Even though my parents are told repeatedly by me, they still put things in the crib, put their infant on their tummy's and let them sleep with them. Sometimes it's the only way they can get some sleep.
I don't know of any parent's that check their infant every 15 minutes. I could understand you wanting to shut her down if she abused your child but this doesn't sound like the case here.
I am truly sorry for your loss.
Cat Herder 12:04 PM 06-07-2011
Originally Posted by sissy:
I know what it's like to lose a child and my heart and prayers go out to you. But blaming the CCP, isn't that a bit much? .

Blaming the CCP IS one of the stages, as is blaming the doctors, the immunizations, the food, the spouse, Yourself and even God himself.

This post is over a year old and all posters who have faced this are FULLY entitled to their feelings while going through the PRIMAL stages of grief and loss associated with this.
Tags:accident, crime, death, injury, liable
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