Baby Died at Day Care; Worker Had Been Drinking Heavily, Charged with Neglect

Daycare can be a great experience for a lot of families, but unfortunately there are some horror stories as well that are the stuff of every parent's nightmares. One such nightmare took place in Iowa when a 7-month-old baby died in the home of her daycare provider.

The caregiver had allegedly drank 10 beers before the infant was dropped off at her home.

Wendy Young, a caregiver working in Iowa City, admitted to police that she drank 10 beers before starting her work day and taking in children. The 49-year-old had been running a daycare out of her home for 14 years without incident.

She was not licensed by the state because she took in fewer than five children and a license wasn't required. Unfortunately, this meant that Young was not subject to any inspections or scrutiny from the state licensing board.

That fateful day, Sawyer Springsteen was in Young's care. The 7-month-old boy was dropped off, and later police were called because the child was unresponsive. The baby was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police questioned Young, and she admitted to heavy drinking earlier that day. More than eight hours after she had started business for the day, tests found there was still alcohol in the daycare provider's system.

Young has been arrested and charged with neglect; she faces up to 10 years in prison. She's being held on a $10,000 bond.

Sawyer's grandfather, Dan Watson of Keota, told the Cedar Rapids Gazette that he didn't even realize at first any arrests were made. He thought his grandson died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Even if SIDS was the cause of death, prosecutors could make a case that it might not have happened if Sawyer was getting more attention and care under Young's supervision. SIDS is not entirely preventable, and it still baffles doctors, but there are precaution that adults can take to help decrease the chances of a SIDS death.

Children placed on a firm mattress, without pillows, stuffed animals, toys or fluffy blankets, and who are put to sleep on their backs rather than their stomachs are less likely to die of SIDS, the Mayo Clinic notes.

Few details about the investigation have been released.

Watson recalls his grandson fondly. "He loved to go on walks, watch his favorite movie, 'Angry Birds,' and splash water all over the bathroom when he took a bath," the grieving grandfather said. "He liked to roll around the entire living room and pinch Mom and Dad with his toes."

Sawyers parents have declined to comment on the incident.

Young’s friend and neighbor, Rebecca Painton, says she believes the police report is misleading. In all the time she's known Young, she says children have been well cared for in her home.

“She’s a very, very good, happy, lovable girl,” said Painton.

The neighbor explains that Young went to the grocery store every night to prepare for the kids in her care the next day. She claims she's never seen any children being neglected by Young.

“It’s been a hard day,” Painton said. “If there’s a bond, we’re going to bond her out.”

Source: Daily Mail

Photos: Daily Mail, auremar/123RF Stock Photo

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