Infant who died at Bradenton daycare was victim of SIDS

Cause of death of infant at Bradenton day care determined

HERALD STAFF REPORTMarch 6, 2014 

MANATEE -- An infant who died at the Children's Academy of Southwest Florida in Bradenton in January was a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, according to a medical examiner's report.

The cause of death was determined Thursday as SIDS, according to District 12 medical examiner Dr. Russell Vega. Vega said Thursday morning the final autopsy report is not ready for release.

A state investigation into the 4-month-old's death found a day care worker tested positive for cocaine and marijuana, and surveillance video revealed several other licensing violations.

The day care's infant teachers testified the baby

was given a bottle and placed in a crib to sleep around 8:30 a.m. The facility director told Department of Children and Families the baby was fed and placed in the crib on her side to sleep.

But video surveillance at the facility showed otherwise, Natalie Harrel of the Department of Children and Families said.

According to the report, the video shows a teacher at the day care placing the child in a bouncy swing and using a blanket to prop a bottle next to the baby so she could feed herself. It then shows the teacher placing the baby in the crib on her stomach without burping her. The report says the infant "can be seen on the video attempting to lift her head and kicking her legs."

"With deaths labeled as SIDS, there are certain risk factors that are more commonly found than not," Vega said. "Being placed prone to bed is one of those risk factors. We cannot determine that is why the child is dead, but we know there is an association between the two."

Capt. Tim Christensen of the Bradenton Police Department said they are still waiting on confirmation in the final autopsy report before making any decisions about charges. No criminal charges have been filed against the day care or its employees.

On Feb. 1, the Department of Children and Families revoked the day care's license.

"The licensing is done through the issuing board. We don't do anything with the licenses ourselves," Christensen said.

The day care is on 26th Avenue West in Bradenton.

Calls to the owner of the day care center went unanswered.

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