More violations: Daycare at center of infant death investigation tied child to cot for months, report says

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Oct 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-24 15:30:28-04

KING GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- A new report has revealed more safety violations at a Central Virginia daycare at the center of an infant death investigation, indicating staff participated in forbidden practices including tying a child down to a cot, striking a child, and forcing children to rest.

On February 21, five-month-old Maxx Wilson died after suffering an emergency at C&A Daycare in King George County.

A Social Services inspection analyzed video footage from the day Maxx died and found staff swaddled him, laid him in a crib on his stomach, put two blankets over top of him and his head, and did not check on him for more than three hours.

“Swaddling him, binding his movement as a five-month-old, should have never happened," said Kasey Hamlet, Maxx's mother, during an interview with CBS 6 in July.

Once staff did check on Maxx, his body was limp and cold. The child was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The medical examiner's office ruled Maxx's cause of death was complications from COVID-19 and adenovirus.

The same Social Services report also detailed staff being forceful with other children including grabbing their faces and necks to force them to lay down and causing one child to hit their head on the crib.

“Every parent deserves to know what happened to their kid. Every parent deserves to know what's going on," said Maxx's father Trevin Wilson.

Now, a new Social Services inspection from September, in response to a complaint to the Department of Education's Office of Child Safety, has indicated even more findings of noncompliance at C&A.

Reviewing footage again from the day Maxx died, February 21, investigators found that staff tied a 2-year-old to her cot, restricting the child from moving.

The report showed staff took a long scarf or blanket, wrapped it around the child, and tied it in a double knot during nap time.

Staff said they were told to do so by management because the child was "full of energy" and would not stay still. The child's parents said they never had a conversation with staff about how the child should sleep and did not ever say the child needed to be tied down to a cot.

This forbidden practice happened for months, from February to May when the staff member left the daycare.

The report found that children were forced to remain in their cots for more than three hours, from before 11 a.m. to after 2 p.m.

Inspectors also discovered that staff hit a child multiple times on his bottom and pinched him twice on his leg.

Additionally, staff failed to supervise children at all times, at one point leaving 13 children alone for up to 14 minutes.

C&A Daycare voluntarily closed its infant operations after Maxx's death, according to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), but the center has been allowed to continue caring for other age groups.

“I hope that they get shut down completely 100%, every age, until they have no more kids in their care," Hamlet said.

The VDOE, which licenses childcare centers, has taken action to attempt to revoke C&A's license.

C&A appealed and is entitled to a hearing in an effort to contest revocation actions.

According to a VDOE spokesperson, the hearing has been continued until October 30.

During the appeal period, VDOE said it continues to monitor the program's compliance with licensing standards and statutory requirements.

“I find it very disturbing that these parents continue to send their other children there for months," Hamlet said.

During a Social Services inspection on August 8, 48 children, ages 16 months to 10 years old, were present at the daycare.

When reached for a response Monday, a manager at the daycare told CBS 6 she did not have any information to share.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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