A 7-month-old infant died while in the care of a residential daycare center in Hawthorne, California, on Wednesday, April 24, according to a police statement.
Hawthorne Police Department officers responded to a medical call at around 5:30 p.m. of a 7-month-old not breathing at Swoope Family Child Care, which is a licensed residential daycare facility that can hold up to 14 children. It is not clear how many children were there on Wednesday.
When the officers arrived the infant had already been pronounced dead by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Detectives were also called onto the scene to conduct an initial death investigation. Authorities are now actively investigating to determine the cause of death.
According to a report by the Department of Social Services (DSS), the daycare center is run out of the living room of the home. Children have access to one bathroom and the backyard for outdoor play.
The child care facility had previously been under investigation for complaints. In 2017, the facility was investigated for failing to provide adequate care as a result of children who sustained minor scrapes and bruises.
Similarly, in 2016, DSS investigated the facility for using bleach water solution to clean a child, causing the child’s hand to swell and develop welts.
According to a DSS report, the owner admitted that after attending a training about a diapering policy, she misunderstood the instruction and sprayed the solution on the children’s hands after changing their diapers.
Hawthorne Police Department is asking the public to contact them if they have any information about the incident.
Vermont Childcare Provider Charged
In Vermont, a child care provider was recently arrested in the death of a 6-month-old baby who police said suffered a fatal overdose of antihistamine given to help her sleep.
Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to a 911 call made on Jan. 24, 2019, from a registered in-home day care facility in Rutland City, according to police.
When the medical crew arrived, they found the 6-month-old infant unresponsive. The child was transported to Rutland Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Stacey Vaillancourt, 53, of Rutland, was taken into custody on March 16, on suspicion of manslaughter and cruelty to a child arising from the January death of 6-month-old Harper Rose Briar, Vermont State Police said in a news release. Vaillancourt ran a state-licensed day care out of her Rutland home.
The autopsy showed that the child had high concentrations of diphenhydramine in her body.
“The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of Harper Briar’s death was diphenhydramine intoxication, and the manner of death was homicide,” according to the news release.
Diphenhydramine, the active sedating ingredient in over-the-counter antihistamines such as Benadryl, should not be used on infants without a doctor’s order, according to the news release.
Police said there was no doctor’s order recommending the drug be given to the deceased child.
The Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.