Tag Archives: Death

Is Your Baby In Danger?

.jpg photo of the executive director of Kids in Danger
Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger.

Recalled Sleepers Linked To Infant Deaths Are Still Being Used in Daycare Centers

Earlier this year, Fischer-Price issued a recall of nearly five million Rock ‘n Play sleepers after the popular product was linked to at least 30 infant deaths.  Not long after, Kids II recalled 700,000 of its own inclined sleepers due to similar concerns.

Several months later, one mom was shocked to find that these dangerous sleepers are still being used in some daycare centers, which could be putting their kids at risk.

Sarah Landis, a mom from Philadelphia, told Consumer Reports that in June, she came to her one-year-old son’s daycare and discovered that a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was in the infant facility room.  Landis told her husband, Adam Garber, who works in product safety.  Garber gave the daycare a call to see if they were aware of the recall.

“Our daycare provider, who cares deeply about the kids, was really confused,” says Garber.  “She said she thought there had only been a warning about the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper and that as long as the product was properly used, and babies were buckled in, it would be fine.”

Garber informed the daycare director that a full recall had been issued, something that the director says they were never informed about the extent of the recall and so they believed they were not putting children in danger by keeping theirs.  William Wallace, the manager of home and safety policy for Consumer Reports, says that this can be common if companies give mixed messaging about a recall.

“Recalls don’t work well unless people get a clear and consistent message.  And they especially don’t work well if manufacturers and the government fail to fully warn people about the risks of a product,” Wallace explained.

Fortunately, in this case, no infants were harmed as a result of the sleeper but considering the popularity of these products, it’s hard to imagine that there aren’t still daycare centers that are unknowingly using a product that has been proven to be dangerous.

What can you do if you are a parent who is unsure if your kid’s daycare is using one of these items?  Garber says the most effective thing you can do is reach out.

“One of the things we’re telling folks is to just go in and ask what the center’s plan is to check for and remove recalled products—and then ask about specific products,” Garber says.

Ben Hoffman, M.D., chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatric’s Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention’s executive committee, agrees, adding that the safest thing for parents is to ensure that no inclined sleepers are being used.

“I would encourage parents to talk to day care providers and make sure their babies are put to sleep in a safe way, and not in a recalled product—but ideally not in any inclined sleeper,” Hoffman says.

VA Woman Parties, Baby Alone 15 Hours In Crib

.jpg photo of mother who did drugs for 15 hours without checking on baby in crib
Christan P. Haynes, 19

Waynesboro woman did drugs prior to baby being found dead

WAYNESBORO, VA  –  The case of a Waynesboro woman whose baby was found dead last year concluded Wednesday with a conviction.

Christian P. Haynes, 19, is facing the possibility of 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in Waynesboro Circuit Court to a felony charge of child abuse.

Zayden Haynes, just 7 months old, was found dead March 3, 2018, after his mother neglected to check on him for 15 hours, according to Waynesboro assistant prosecutor Elysse Stolpe.

The baby was placed in a crib with an adult blanket, an adult pillow and had a bottle propped up onto his mouth when Haynes last saw him the night before at 11 p.m., Stolpe said.

The next day at 11 a.m., Haynes heard the baby crying but opted to let him “cry it out, even though she hadn’t checked on him for about 12 hours,” according to Stolpe.

Three hours later, Haynes, 18 years old at the time, woke up shortly after 2 p.m. and posted a selfie online.  Five minutes after that a 911 call was placed when the baby was found unresponsive.

Stolpe said Haynes began smoking meth three days prior to the boy’s death, which kept her awake for days.  The prosecutor said Haynes was tired and “coming down off that high” when she failed to properly care for her child.

A search of Haynes’ residence revealed there was methamphetamine and marijuana in the home.  A smoking device was found near the child’s crib and another one was discovered next to his playpen in another room, Stolpe said.  Haynes also admitted to sometimes smoking meth inside a closet in the baby’s room.

Stolpe said a drug screen done at the home by an Augusta County Child Protective Services employee showed Haynes had meth and marijuana in her system.

“This underscores that drugs aren’t just a victimless crime,” Stolpe said.  “A child is dead because his mother was too busy getting high and then sleeping it off.”

Stolpe said the Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office considered a more serious homicide charge, but said an autopsy was inconclusive in determining if the baby suffocated to death.  “Sudden unexplained infant death associated with unsafe bedding” was listed as the cause of death, according to Stolpe.

Following her guilty plea, Haynes, who has no prior criminal record, was allowed to remain free on bond.

She will be sentenced July 3.

Hot Vehicle Claims First Child In 2018

.jpg photo of vehicular heatstroke graphic
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters

Family Of 1-Year-Old Who Died In Hot Car Had No DCF History

#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters

MIAMI, FL  –  The Department of Children and Families says the family of a 1-year-old who died after being left in a hot car had no history with the child welfare system.

The department has opened a child protective investigation but says all details remain confidential.

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll did release a statement saying,

“My heart goes out to this family who have lost a precious child.  It is easy to assume this could never happen to you, but time and time again I see caregivers who let themselves slip into a routine when transporting children and make a fatal mistake when that routine is disrupted.  More than half of all child deaths from hot cars are the result of a parent inadvertently leaving the child in their car..”

The case prompted strong words from Miami-Dade Police spokesman, Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.

He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “This is something that we, in society, cannot allow to continue to happen.  The precious cargo in your car is a child and there is no way that we as parents can forget the precious child in your car. This is happening way too often.”

“No matter how hectic our schedule is, no matter how fast paced our lives are, we can not allow our kids to be put in danger,” said Zabaleta.  “We just need to learn how to slow down and concentrate on what we are doing.”

The 1-year-old boy was apparently forgotten in the car Wednesday at a strip mall near Bird Road and 97th Avenue.

The baby’s mother works at a beauty salon in the mall, according to witnesses. They said she was not supposed to work on Wednesday but came in on her day off.

She reportedly came to work at the Forever Young Spa around 9 a.m., parked the car in the back and, at about 12:30 p.m., they heard loud screams and commotion when she found her child.

The baby was a transported to Kendall Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

It was a hot day Wednesday with temperatures in the mid-80s.  Temperatures inside the car could’ve reached up to 100°.

Witnesses said the mother was devastated and screaming.  She said something along the lines of because of work – this happened.

At this time, it is unclear if there will be any charges related to this incident. Zabaleta said the case is being referred to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office.  Witnesses said police have recovered surveillance tape from the scene but it is not being released.

A friend of the family said that family members were too upset to say anything right now.

At the salon, customers said they were upset after hearing the news.

“I can’t imagine anything like this happening,” said Cathy O’Sullivan, who also has children.

Another customer, Shanin Alvarez, said, “This is such a sad story to hear this.  I don’t know what happened, if she was distracted or if she is a first-time mother.”

Customer Lidia Gutierrez said, “It is horrible.  It is just so sad.”  Her friend and another customer, Iala Isarque, said, “I just really have no words to say.”

Following the incident, Carroll did ask parents to find a safety strategy that works for them, suggesting the following:

  • Be sure to check the back seat every time you leave the vehicle.
  • Put your purse, briefcase, lunch, etc. in the backseat so you are sure to look before you lock the door.
  • Do not let your children play near vehicles; they may accidentally lock themselves in.
  • If there is a change in plans and someone else is dropping your kids off, have them call you at drop off so you know everyone made it safely.

For more information on tips to hot car preventions, click here.

Heatstroke

On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles.  Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.

KIDSANDCARS.org

CA Man Charged With Child Abuse, Torture

.jpg photo of man charged with Child Abuse and Torture
Arthur Combs, 24

Stockton Girl, 7, Dies; Uncle Suspected Of Child Abuse, Torture

STOCKTON, CA  –  A young girl has died and her uncle is under arrest on suspicion of child abuse, authorities say.

Stockton police say officers responded to a home along the 10500 block of Hidden Grove Circle a little after 4 a.m. to investigate a medical call.  As they soon discovered, a 7-year-old girl had been rushed to the hospital.

The girl was later pronounced dead.  Authorities suspect the girl died from injuries sustained from being abused.

Officers have arrested the girl’s uncle, 24-year-old Arthur Combs. He’s facing charges of torture and child abuse resulting in death.

Baby Brianna

Mother in New Mexico Child Abuse Case Released from Prison

Special Archive – Baby Brianna

DONA ANA COUNTY, NM  –  Wednesday, the mother of baby Brianna Lopez, the 5-month old who was brutally raped and beat to death in 2002 was released from prison.

Stephanie Lopez was released today after serving nearly 13-years of her 27-year prison sentence.  Lopez was convicted in 2003 in connection to the death of her daughter Brianna.

“This case sent shockwaves through the entire community.  Baby Brianna was horrifically tortured, raped and murdered, and we all want the monsters who took part in this brutal crime to face justice,” Secretary of Corrections Gregg Marcantel said.  “Unfortunately, the law at the time allowed these violent offenders to have a much lighter sentence than what they deserved.”

Brianna was just a few months old when her father Andrew Walters, 59926, and uncle Steven Lopez, 59927, raped and abused her.  Her mother took part in the abuse, biting the child from head to toe, and allowed the rapes to happen.  The jury found Stephanie Lopez not guilty of intentional child abuse, but guilty of child abuse resulting in death.  She received a 27 year sentence but under the law was eligible for day for day good time and credit time for time served in jail awaiting trial.

Walters received a total of 63 years in prison for child abuse resulting in death and rape.  He is also eligible for good time as is Steven Lopez, who received a 57 year sentence in total for rape and neglect resulting in death.

Walters’s mother, Patricia Walters, and his brother, Robert Walters Junior, were convicted of failing to report child abuse and were sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Corrections officials had five independent auditors to review Lopez’s case file to ensure that she served her full sentence.  The State does not have the authority to alter the court ordered sentence that permits her release.

Lopez will serve two years of parole in another state through the interstate compact agreement.  Location of offenders in interstate compact is confidential.  She will have to follow all rules and requirements of her parole as well as state and federal laws.

Baby Brianna’s Law, named after the victim, now sets a mandatory life sentence for child abuse resulting in death for a child under 13.

An effort to expand the law to children from age 13 to 18 died in the state senate in the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions