US

Daycare Center’s Infant Care Portion Shut Down After Five-Month-Old’s Death

By Victor Westerkamp

A daycare center’s license for infant care has been suspended one day after a 5-month-old boy had been found unresponsive and later died.

Daycare workers at Crossgates Methodist Children’s Center in Brandon, Mississippi, found the boy unresponsive at 9:52 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, and called for an ambulance.

Two other infants were in the same room at the same time, but they were unaffected, Brandon Police Chief William Thompson said, according to WJTV.com.

The child was escorted by police convoy and rushed to the emergency room at Merit Health Rankin in Brandon at about 10 a.m., but the staff failed to revive the boy and the child was pronounced dead.

As a precaution, the license of the facility for children under the age of one was ordered suspended until further notice by the Mississipi State Department of Health, Dr. Thomas Dobbs state health officer of MSDH said during a press conference, WLBT reported.

The daycare center typically gets inspected twice a year for safety measurements and never faced any health or security-related issues before. It has been in operation and fully licensed since 1992 and was in good standing.

During the investigative procedure, a license suspension has been put in place for children under the age of one, and no new children of any age may be accepted at the facility. However, the facility may continue operating with services provided for older children. MSDH is looking for ways to relocate the other children under the age of one to other nurseries, Dobbs said.

Investigators of the Brandon Police Department, the Rankin County Coroner’s Office, the Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Mississippi Department of Health are working on the case, and no foul play is suspected.

It is unknown whether the child had any previous health issues, as no further details have been provided. The daycare staff is fully cooperating with the investigation. Dobbs said the daycare staff “have been very cooperative, and as you can imagine, they are heartbroken.”

Unfortunately, this type of occurrence is not unusual, even at licensed daycare centers.

Vermont Day Care Owner Charged in Death of 6-Month-Old

A Vermont childcare provider has been arrested in the death of a 6-month-old baby who police said suffered a fatal overdose of antihistamine given to help her sleep.

Stacey Vaillancourt, 53, of Rutland, was taken into custody on Monday, March 18, 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 daycare out of her Rutland home.

An autopsy report cited by police revealed the infant’s cause of death.

“The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of Harper Briar’s death was diphenhydramine intoxication, and the manner of death was homicide.”

Stacey-Vaillancourt
Stacey L. Vaillancourt, 53, of Rutland is seen in this booking photo taken on March 18, 2019. (Vermont State Police)

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.

Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to a 911 call made on Jan. 24, 2019, from a registered in-home daycare facility in Rutland City, according to the 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.

Detectives from the Vermont State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation joined the investigation, officials announced in the news release, adding, “Together with the Rutland City Police Department and Vermont DCF are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Harper’s death Vaillancourt was arrested following the results of the autopsy.

Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek contributed to this report