When I started this article I was quickly amazed at how many babies die every year in day cares just from sleeping the wrong way. If a baby sleeps on their stomach then they’re in danger of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. Have a blanket that’s too big? Put a pillow in the crib? The baby may suffocate on it. This all happens kind of a lot. Specifically, it happens 3,500 times a year.
From 2009 to 2013 in Indiana there were thirty one baby deaths in day cares and on the macro level a full 60% of deaths like this occur in day cares. Even worse is that in the Indiana example half of those deaths took place in illegal day cares. See, day care is expensive and since everyone today has to have a job with both parents working then that means you have to have day care, the cheapest, safest you can find. That means that untrained people open day cares in their houses, put babies to sleep on their stomachs and end up with babies that die.
The most recent data says that for every 100,000 babies that are born, 39.7 of them will die in the crib just from sleeping wrong and suffering SIDS. That number may seem confusing but let me put it in context. The murder rate in the U.S. is 3.8 murders for every 100,000 people. So that means the crib death rate is 10x higher than the U.S. murder rate. Even crazier, the death rate used to be 130.3 per every 100,000 babies back in the 90s. None of the above numbers include “unknown causes” or “strangulation” from a blanket.
Sixty percent of these deaths happen in day cares and roughly fifty percent of that sixty percent (varies by state) happen in unregulated day cares. If the murder rate was what the infant death rate is in the U.S. then we’d have far and away the highest murder rate in the world.
1. Day Care Owner Goes Shopping, House Burns Down
In 2011, Jessica Tata, only 22 at the time, ran a day care in Houston, Texas. One day she decided she was going to go shopping at Target and so she left all of the seven children entrusted to her by their parents at her house while she went out. Even worse, she left oil cooking on her stove which inevitably caught fire and burned the house up. Four of the children died from the fire. Tata took off for Nigeria hoping to escape justice for her negligence but after being captured and extradited back to the U.S. she was charged and convicted of felony murder. She was sentenced to 80 years.
Not only did 25-year-old Ohio day care worker Heather Koon rape at least two babies, ages one and two, in 2013, she also video recorded one instance of it on her iPhone to share with her bound-for-hell boyfriend, James Osbourne. Koon denied that the video on her iPhone was of her raping a baby and instead claimed she’d downloaded the video off the internet.
After police investigated, she was eventually charged with what appears to be everything authorities could think of: “12 counts of kidnapping, four counts each of rape, pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, two counts of conspiracy and one count each of tampering with evidence and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; forfeiture.”
In 2005, 10-month-old boy, Henry, was staying at a licensed day care center in Virginia while his parents were at work. Since the facility didn’t have enough cribs for all the infants they were caring for, Henry was instead placed on “soft bedding” to sleep when all the children were put down for naps.
The caretaker then left all the kids to go take some Tylenol PM for her migraine headache but didn’t call for her backup caretaker to watch the kids while she was gone. During that time she was away, Henry asphyxiated on the soft bedding and died.
4. Kids Kept In The Basement
One woman recalls that her sister started making puppy whining noises when she came home from day care despite the family owning no puppies at the time. Their mother soon discovered that one of her daughters was being kept downstairs in the day care’s basement all day surrounded by puppies. While that sounds sort of adorable it’s also unbelievably neglectful.
5. UTIs For Babies And Toddlers
The same woman says that she repeatedly had UTIs because her caregivers wouldn’t let her go use the bathroom and so she often peed on herself and had to sit in it until her mother arrived to pick her up. This was despite the caregiver being given a doctor’s note from the parent saying that her not being allowed to go to the bathroom in a timely way was causing UTIs.
6. Incompetent Caretakers
This mother dropped her daughter off at a daycare in the morning and when she came to pick her up was told that her daughter had been sleeping for six hours like that was a normal thing. Turns out she had a raging fever but they hadn’t considered that maybe a child sleeping for six hours of the day might be cause for concern. May as well have left her in a cave for all the care she got.
7. Some Caretakers Are Actually Cruel Liars
Here’s one story about a caretaker at a day care who took away the person’s favorite toy, hid it, and then lied and told the parents that their own child had lost them. Other horrible incidents included letting other kids play with that toy and laughing when the toy got smeared in dog pee, leaving kids in their high chairs alone for hours while the caretaker went to the park, and, finally, getting in a car accident with a child who wasn’t in a car seat and then not taking them to the hospital.
8. Drugging Children So They’ll Sleep
Marian Fraser owned “Spoiled Rotten” daycare in Waco, Texas. In 2015 she was convicted of giving a lethal dose of over-the-counter Benadryl to a four-month-old girl in 2013 so that she would sleep soundly during nap time.
She was sentenced to fifty years in prison.
9. Literally Throwing A Child Out A Sixth Story Window
27-year-old Tenisha Fearon, a mother of four was arrested for throwing her baby out a sixth story window while her other three children watched. Fearon was also a licensed child care worker who ran a day care from her home and was the recipient of city referrals for the business.
Law enforcement says that Fearon was about to be evicted which may have sparked the incident.
10. Shaken Babies
Pallavi Macharla was arrested in Spring of 2015 after a sixth-month-old in her care died. The autopsy revealed “multiple compression fractures to her spine” and “hemorrhaging beneath membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, and in the eyes, and separation of tissues in the baby’s eyes,” all symptom’s consistent with a baby who has been violently shaken.
Macharla had been operating an unlicensed day care center when she was arrested.