Abusive Swaddling: Two Sisters Accused of Abuse at Day Care

April 25, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Abusive swaddling: Two sisters who ran a Northern California day care are accused of abusive swaddling: binding babies to their beds with blankets and covering their faces, potentially blocking the babies’ breathing.

The Plesanton Weekly reported that Nazila Sharaf, 35, of Dublin, and Lida Sharaf, 33, of Mountain House, were arrested this week and are currently being held in jail. They face a slew of charges, including felony and misdemeanor child neglect and abuse, said the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

The babies ranged from seven months to 11 months old.

“Having knowledge of the respiratory conditions, the two suspects still tightly bound the victims’ upper torso and legs,” Livermore Police spokesman Steve Goard told the paper. “Tightly binding a child with an upper respiratory condition seriously compromises and child’s ability to breathe, which could lead to death.”

Nazila Sharaf was also accused of grabbing three infants “out of frustration,” amounting to child abuse, reads a complaint.

“Nazila would grab one of the child’s arms and carry the child from one place to another. Grabbing an infant by one arm and lifting them off of the ground could cause the arm to break, ligaments to tear or a spiral fracture,” it reads.

Goard said his office responded to a complaint from a 19-year-old worker, who was appalled with the situation there.

“I was so impressed by this young lady’s courage,” Goard told the Livermore Patch. “She felt she had to speak for the children since they couldn’t speak for themselves.”

Police said that three of the children suffered from respiratory problems due to the swaddling.

“It was like a boa constrictor wrapping around the chest,” Goard told NBC News.