The day care center should be a place where parents can leave children in a safe environment, without fear that they might be harmed or mistreated.
At least that’s what one expects and that’s why this story is troubling to so many.
In April 2018, Deirdre and Jonathan received a phone call from the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF).
The department had received a report and some pictures of babies swaddled in daycare sleeping bags.
The DCF told Deirdre and Jonathan that they had a very concerning photo of their 6-month-old daughter, Elora, who was in day care at the time.
Someone had reported her daughter, Elora, being put down in a sleep sack, face down, with the sack pulled tight with a hair band.
The worried parents rushed to DCF to see the photo in person.
Deirdre told 41 Action News, “First, I thought there’s no way that’s my baby, she looks so small! She’s laying on her tummy like she always does, but she looks uncomfortable. She’s tied up. My baby is tied up. She can’t roll over, she can’t sit up, if she were to cough up any of her formula, she’d choke. I got scared for her. She’s been at this day care since she was five weeks old. I’ve trusted these people for her entire life and I was wrong.”
Elora was indeed lying facedown in a crib, tightly wrapped in a sleep sack that was pulled back with a ponytail holder.
The whistleblower in this case, the worker who took the pictures and reported the incident, said she reported this to day care owners in early February, and to the state in mid-February.
The mom further expressed her outrage by saying: “Sleep sacks are used often. I got one for swaddling while in the hospital having Elora. Sleep sacks are ‘safer’ than blankets, if used correctly. Not using them correctly, they aren’t safe. Common sense would tell you not to tie a sleep sack up in the back of an infant and lay that infant down on her belly. But laws aren’t always common sense. I need the laws to catch up with the times. What’s being done? How do I make this illegal, not just an error in judgment?”
However, the horrified parents were about to learn they weren’t the only ones who received a phone call like this…
While parents may swaddle their babies at home, daycare centres are not allowed to do so.
There’s a risk of the babies rolling over on their tummies. Here are a few tips to keep your babies safe.
- When you swaddle your baby, lay them on their back. Ensure that they don’t roll over when swaddled or placed in a sleeping bag.
- Check for signs of overheating in babies when they are swaddled. Sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash and rapid breathing are a few of these signs.
- Avoid loose blankets around your baby’s sleeping area. It could cover your baby’s face and increase the risk of suffocation.
So mums, if you leave your little ones in a daycare centre, make sure that the facility is following all the childcare rules and regulations!
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