A Manhattan nanny was convicted of attempted murder after she tried to stuff a baby wipe into an infant’s throat, reported the New York Post.
Marianne Benjamin-Williams, 47, was found guilty Dec. 11 on assault, attempted murder, and other charges for the May 2017 incident.
Prosecutors Nicole Blumberg and Kristen Caruso said Benjamin-Williams was fed up with the infant boy’s crying and was frustrated with the parents for not paying her more money, leading to the crime.
Paramedics rushed the boy to Bellevue Hospital, and noted that he was blue and “gasping for air,” Blumberg said. Doctors then rushed him to surgery and discovered a baby wipe in his throat.
Benjamin-Williams, in her court appearance, said she adored the infant and would never try to harm him. But she did admit to lying about her education, age, and references to get the babysitting job.
Raymond Loving, an attorney for the woman, said it was possible the baby accidentally sucked up the wipe. Doctors and specialists, however, said that it would be very difficult for an 8-week-old infant to get a baby wipe into his own throat.
Williams is due back in court on Jan. 7 for the sentencing phase of the trial.
Baby Wipes Dangerous?
Most parents of newborns are very familiar with baby wipes or wet wipes, as they’re often used during diaper changes, used to wipe down sticky fingers, or in emergencies.
But the Manhattan conviction, along with a case in Florida earlier this year when a father jammed a balled-up baby wipe into a child’s mouth, highlights the potential choking hazard of baby wipes.
“Never allow a baby to take a baby wipe from you. A baby’s natural instinct is to put the wipe in her mouth. Because the wipes are small enough to fit in your baby’s mouth, they present a choking hazard. In addition, the alcohol and chemicals on the wipes aren’t meant for internal use and they can make your baby ill. Place the baby wipes out of reach at all times,” said LiveStrong. Pieces of paper like paper towels can pose the same hazard.
And one study revealed that baby wipes can cause itchy, scaly rashes for some babies.
“I think it may be more common than people realize,” study co-author Dr. Mary Wu Chang, who is an associate professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, according to NBC News. The study was published in 2014 in the journal Pediatrics.
Dr. Robin Gehris told NBC she’s seen more children with reactions to wipes, saying it might be due to the chemical preservative known as methylisothiazolinone (MI) found in the product. She said manufacturers have increased the amount of MI used in wipes by 25 times.
“I think this is a really important issue,” said Gehris, with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “But when you tell a patient they shouldn’t use moist wipes they act like you have two heads. It’s hard for people to imagine when something called hypoallergenic [could contain] things that could cause a problem.”