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4 Year Old Dies from Choking on Grape at Day Care – Rights of Family and Responsibilities of Day Care Center

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In North Mankato, Minnesota, the State of Minnesota Department of Human Services recently fined a day care center for failing to follow procedure in contacting 911 regarding the incident. While the State did not find that the day care center were negligent as to the incident itself, the State of Minnesota did fine the facility as to the timeliness of the reporting of the incident to 911.

This case shows that children are at risk for choking at a day care center. Grapes commonly cause choking problems for young children. This is or should be well known to all child care providers.

Golden Heart Child Care Center is located in North Mankato, Minnesota. The protocols for Golden Heart called for items such as grapes and hot dogs to be cut up for infants and toddlers up to the age of 3 years old. Hannah Kozitza was 4 years old at the time of the incident. While the facility policies and procedures did not require that the grape be cut up, there may be an issue or question as whether it was appropriate to feed a 4 year old a whole grape. The news report also did not mention one way or the other if the parents were made away (prior to the incident) that the child was being fed grapes at the day care center. The news report also did not mention whether the facility provided the child the grapes or if the grapes were sent in by parents.

Whole grapes are a known choking hazard for children. It is in the best interests of children to cut up grapes and hot dogs for children in pre-school or day care for children of all ages. You can read more about this story at Day Care Center Fined – 4 Year Old Choked at North Mankato, Minnesota Day Care Center.