The great majority of people are aware of the potential dangers that a baby who has been left in a car seat can face. Being left in a car during the middle of summer or in the peak of winter can yield deadly consequences for an infant. However, not all babies who have been left in car seats have suffered in a vehicle. Others, as this event shows, can suffocate when left in a car seat inside a house. At the end of this section you will learn why making sure that a daycare center is licensed can save your child’s life.
A Case for Negligence?
A nine-month-old baby boy died due to suffocating in a closet at a child daycare center this past Monday. The accident, which occurred in Fort Worth, was the result of the caretaker leaving the toddler - identified as John Norris - in his car seat and placing him in a closet to fall asleep. According to authorities the accident was probably caused due to one of the belt straps of the car seat not being properly connected. The baby’s neck was trapped in the middle of the chest buckle, which caused him to suffocate in his sleep.
In regards to the daycare center, Child Protective Services (CPS) stated that the caregiver is not licensed. Also, the caregiver was taking care of nearly 12 children when the accident occurred. Whether or not this constitutes a case for negligence will be decided after an investigation has been completed. However, it is important to note that authorities found no evidence of foul play involved with the child’s death. Nevertheless, the situation is a serious matter that will go through thorough investigation. The caregiver has been ordered to stop caring for children during the ongoing investigation.
How Can You Keep Your Child Safe?
Upon analyzing the terrible event that occurred, there are two important takeaways for every parent. The first takeaway is to make sure that your child is positioned in a car seat in the correct way. This includes making sure the fastening belts are not too lose or tight, making sure that all connections and buckles are properly fastened, and finally making sure that the child is breathing properly. Safety should be the number one priority for children, and parents are responsible in making sure their infant is safe.
The second important takeaway is for parents to be certain that the child daycare center they are considering for their child is licensed with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which is one of the main state agencies governing child care policies. Through this department, child daycare centers and caregivers go through a process where the daycare center is thoroughly inspected, background checks are made, and only qualified caregivers received certification. While it may be tempting to enroll your child in a daycare center that is close to your work or job and is very affordable, taking a look at the daycare’s credentials and general record can be a lifesaver - literally.