By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In Rockhill, South Carolina, it was reported that a 6 week old child was found unresponsive by the child care provider – Elizabeth Home Daycare. At the time of the incident, it was later discovered that the day care center was supervising or attempting to supervise four times more children than it was licensed to supervise. Fire rescue / emergency responders arrived on the scene and made attempts to revive the child who was later transported to Piedmont Medical Center. The day care center was licensed to care for 5 children yet the day care center had 20 children in the home day care center.
In cases of this nature, it does not look very good that the day care center had so many children over the limit; however, this does not address the issue of why the child died or if measures could have been taken to save the child. The reason for State regulations to make sure that each child gets the attention and supervision that the child needs during the course of the day. If a child shows signs or symptoms of illness or distress, immediate action should be taken to evaluate the child, call for medical care or 911, and call the parents. Due to the age and circumstances of the death, an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. This, in turn, may help investigators determine if the child’s death was preventable with more attentive supervision and care. This case will involve issues that are both legal and medical in nature.
A time line of events may be important for a case of this nature. The time line could be affected by the forensic evidence obtained through the autopsy as well as the statements of employees and other witnesses. When was the child last seen or evaluated before being found unresponsive? What food / fluids did the child receive prior to being brought to the day care center and at the day care center? According to the pathologist and other medical experts, would the signs and symptoms of distress have been observable to the child care provider? If so, what signs and symptoms would have been observable? Over what period of time? Would more timely intervention have saved the child’s life? These are all important yet difficult questions to answer. You can read more about this story at Baby Dies in Day Care in Rockhill, South Carolina.