Something Terrible Happened at Sitters What Happens Now??

Updated on June 09, 2012
K.C. asks from Texarkana, AR
18 answers

I have been using the same private sitter for almost 2 yrs, she keeps around five kids a day in her home. She is wonderful and my children love her and the worst thing that has ever happened is a couple of bite marks from kids. Well yesterday around 4:45 my sitters husband called my husband ( they are close friends) and said I need ya to come pick up ur boys there has been a accident with one of the other children. So me and my husband got there a few mins later to pick up the kids and were greeted be firetrucks, amblances, cops etc. One of the toddlers(around 16mths) had stopped breathing. Sitter had laid her down for a nap in the pack and play and checked on her a few mins later and she was asleep. returned to the room about 20-30mins later and lil girl was resting her head on the side of the p&p. mom admits that she falls asleep standing up all the time leading over crib, chair, p&p etc. Well she had leaded her head over the side and fell asleep and it cut off her air and she wasnt breathing. Sitter started cpr and and had husband call 911 they took her to hospital but were unable to revive her. Now the room that the kids sleep in connects to playroom and is open but i guess pack and play was slighty outta sight. She has been caring for this lil one since she was a infant, the parents know it was a accident and arent blaming her. My heart goes out to the parents and my sitter she couldnt even speak she was so upset. So my question is what happens now? I dont know if she will continue to keep kids or if she is even able to Im not sure what the laws are on something like that. I've got a sitter for my boys for next week but thats it. I need advice has anyone been thru this, im not sure what to even say to the sitter or the parents. I dont know if i should look for another sitter or daycare are just wait it out. I know its the wrong time to even ask her about it bc of what shes going thru and im def not trying to be greedy at all in any way, but i only have 2 days of vacation to use after next week. Any advice or words of encouragement i can pass on to the sitter. And please know negative comments towards the sitter she is a wonderful person and would have never done a thing to harm any child. thanks for everything ladies.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

My boys are 23mths and 5mths old so im having a hard time finding a daycare that has any infant spots.

Thank ya for the kind words they ruled it as accidently mechanical affixation. ( sorry for the spelling) there will be no charges are anything like that. I took my sitters family supper last night and my heart hurts for her so much she feels so guilty. I dont think she is going to continue to keep kids which is ok i do understand and i have a family member that can help me for 3 weeks so that should give me time. So if ur interested heres this sweet little girl who is now in heaven as a angel... thanks again

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

How awful! I didn't even know something like that could happen. I am so sad for everyone involved. I really have no advice for you. Only my sincerest condolences.

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answers from Albuquerque on

This is so very very sad.

As Jo W said, there will probably be a routine investigation and that may take some time.

I can only imagine that aside from the investigation, emotionally the sitter will need some time before caring for any children, if she even can at all. Let her know that you love her and appreciate her and that you will find someone to care for the kids until she is ready - whenever that may be, and that you understand if she can no longer do it at all.

Try to find someone in the meantime, I hear it is a really great site.

Prayers to the parents, the sitter, and the poor children who witnessed such a sad and terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to all of you.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

How heartbreaking! This is the first time in 5 years that something I read on here has made me cry.

I would talk to the sitter and tell her that you love and trust her with your kids, but know that she might need some time to recover before she resumes watching them. Tell her that you can find alternative care until she decides she is ready to care for kids again.

Rest in peace, little angel!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

K., this is indeed terrible. I'm SO sorry. It is close up and personal to you, and I know you are devastated.

I want to tell you this just so that you will be prepared. There have been instances in the news lately, including one I read just TODAY, about children dying unexpectantly or becoming brain damaged during being in the care of a babysitter. They are in the news because of shaken baby syndrome. The reason I tell you this is because the authorities will most likely do an autopsy to rule that out.

They also would try to rule out a congenital anomaly, like her heart, as well.

So don't think the worst if child services comes in and says she cannot watch the other kids pending investigation, or if you find out that they are doing an autopsy. It's something they probably feel that will have to be done.

My prayers are with your babysitter and the family of the little girl.


8 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I don't have any answers to your questions, but just wanted to say how awful for everyone. If I had been the sitter, I am not sure I would be able to watch other people's kids after something like that.

So sorry for all of them.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

They will probably shut it down while they investigate. Other than them finding a reason to shut it down it will stay open if she can deal with everything.

You need to find someone to watch your kids next week. I have no idea how long it takes to investigate but I am sure it is at least a week.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

That is absolutely horrible. There have been accidental deaths in daycares, preschools and in home daycares. There was an in home daycare in colorado where a kid died and the provider who was in charge actually killed himself because he couldn't cope with what had happened. Accidents happen anywhere and this is a tragedy. I wouldn't pull my child out of her care but would be understanding if she didn't want to continue. I cant imagine what she is going through have someone else's child die while in your care, I just can't fathom that idea. My heart goes out to all the families affected.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My sincerest condolences to everyone involved. What a tragedy. I don’t have any words of wisdom for your sitter but I encourage you to remain supportive of her while she struggles to cope. She will undoubtedly feel so many emotions and may feel abandoned if her charges leave en masse. If you are comfortable with it, then one of your strongest supports for her will be to place your children with her when the time is right. I have no idea how long that may be – part of it will depend on any investigations/local rules and on her as a person.

We have had to find and cancel last minute daycare for my stepdaughter with some regularity. We have had profoundly good luck with local churches. With the churches we have used there is no contract or any binding obligation to attend for so long or to give notice before no longer using their services. I am sure it will be more difficult with it being summer and with the ages of your children. However, the churches we used were also very good about providing references for other daycare centers and/or sitters. My other recommendation would be to ask around your circle of friends, family and acquaintances. One of them may know of a reputable sitter in need of work. Good luck in your search and also good luck during this difficult time.

Oh, one other thought - consider using a nanny because of your childrens' ages. It can be expensive but depending on your area it can be cost effective for two children. Also some nannies can be willing to work for short periods of time if they know you have a particular issue with your regular provider. We found both of our nannies through a local nanny placement agency.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Oh my word!! This is a terrible tragedy!! I'm sssssoooooo sssorry!!

I would talk to the provider and ask her what her plans are. I am sure her heart is still broken over this. Unfortunately, there isn't going to be a "good" time to ask her - so I would ask if you can come over to talk - then let her know you have back up care for next week - but would like to know what her plans are - if you still trust her to take care of your child - I would reiterate that to her and let her know that you understand she may need a week to get her bearings straight.

If you don't trust her - then you need to seek out alternative care for your son. This is a horrible thing to have happen. I personally don't think I could blame her and not trust her. But I'm not in your shoes and I don't know her personally.

Our YMCA has an AWESOME day care program as does our church - it's not full day at our church though.

My heart goes out to you and your providers family and especially those parents who lost their daughter. May her memory be eternal.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

wow thats so horrible.
I'd send the sitter a tree to plant in the babies name and if you knwo th parents maybe the same with a card.

I'd first get temporary car for the next two weeks if possible and then at the end of next week ask her her plans and let her know you love her and knows she loves your kids and if she wants to continue caring for them you'd love her to.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

As long as you still trust her to watch your children, ie. this was just an accident, I would continue to leave my children with her. Follow her lead. You are supporting her when you tell her she can still watch your children as long as she's watching children. If you take away the children she will feel hurt like you don't trust her.

There is nothing you can say that will ease this situation for her. She has to feel the pain and go thru the grief process just as every family whose children she watches to a smaller degree.

I suggest that you ask her about next week if that's when you need child care. Otherwise just wait it out. It's up to her whether or not she feels best continuing with care or taking a break or quitting. Don't pressure her into a decision right away. You just have to go along with whatever happens.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I am so very sorry for what all of you are going through right now.Most of the time people look for someone to blame when things like occur,so I think it is wonderful (for lack of a different word)that the parents are not blaming the sitter,I could not begin to understand the guilt she must already feel.Unfortunately,you and your husband do not have bereavement time for this,so you must go back to work.Let your sitter that you understand she is going to need some time to grieve and deal with what she is going through,until then you need to make temporary arrangements for your kids.As far as openings in your area,maybe your local paper or websites will have listings for you for your infant.Good luck to you and your family and friend that has lost their little girl.You will be in my prayers

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Champaign on

What a terrible, terrible tragedy. I wouldn't begin to know what the sitter is going through right now. Of course you don't want to upset her or pressure her in anyway, but life just isn't that simple, is it.

You could call your local YMCA, park district, church camps. They might have openings in their day camps in the next couple of weeks. (Many allow parents to sign up for just one week.) Something like that might get you through the next couple of weeks. You could always call daycare centers. They usually hire extra staff for summers and basically operate as day camps for the school age kids. You could also try calling some churches and asking for their babysitting lists. While this could involve a somewhat complicated schedule and many, many phone calls, you might be able to find 2 or 3 teens who could help you get through a couple of weeks.

I know your life must be a whirlwind right now. so much has happened. Hang in there!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I didn't read all the replies before answering, but can tell you what I know from an incident locally. I am in MN.

I Am a licensed daycare provider of 15 years. I know of this from a former family of mine. They left my care for an auntie to watch their little girl, then when the auntie moved, the needed care again a year later and I had no space so they sought other care a few miles away. I was on a snowmobiling vacation in Colorado and got a call from Mom asking if I could take their daughter for care the next day and possibly for several upcoming weeks. There was a SIDS death at the daycare. I told her I was on a trip but could starting Monday.

Due to the SIDS death, the licensed daycare was shut down pending all of the investigations. The Police did an investigation separate from the Sheriff department. Also the Department of Human Services (licensing agency) also had to do their own investigation. This whole time the daycare had to be closed. I took care of the little girl and all of the other children from there had to go elsewhere as well.

It took many weeks. The provider was distraught, the family of the deceased child was devastated. This stayed in the providers public record forever. She was eventually cleared to reopen, but on a conditional license to not have infants for a few years. The family I did temp care for stayed with me several months until they moved and found a new daycare closer to the new house and little girl was olds enough for a preschool. Poor thing had been in 5 different daycares ( me twice so really 6 changes in 4 years!!,)

So be prepared and start calling places now to find spots for your 2 very young children. If the laws are even remotely similar in your state, it could be a while. If I were you I would call your local DHS or licensing agency. Talk to someone about this devasting event and get advice. They may be able to offer limited info on general time frames and offer resources for referrals.

Best of luck to all involved. My thoughts to all of you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Oh my goodness, that's absolutely horrible. I feel for all involved. I agree w/ the other moms that it sounds like at the very least you need to find a temporary solution. You may want to check out and hire someone for a few weeks until you figure out what your sitter is going to want to do. She may not even want to continue in this line of work; I'm sure that I wouldn't. So sorry to hear this :(

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I would make arrangements to either get another sitter or put your kids in daycare right away. This may have been an accident, but I would not keep my kids at that sitter's house any longer. If something happens to one of your children, you cannot bring that child back, whether it was an accident or not. How old are your children? If you have used this sitter for 2 years now, I assume they are old enough to be taken care of at a child development center. There is more supervision there, and your children will be encouraged to learn developmentally appropriate lessons. My first teaching job was at such a center. I had a teacher's aide with me at all times. There are directors and assistant directors who should be consistently aware of what is going on in all of the classrooms. When I first returned to work (this is years after teaching preschool) after having my own children, they were watched part-time by a neighborhood friend of mine. Later on, I put my kids in the after school program with the YMCA. I am sorry for your sitter, but you need to put your childrens' safety first.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

How awful. It is just heartbreaking.

I believe they will shut her down while there is an investigation. If you don't want to pressure her by asking you could contact the city licensor and ask them if they know if she will be continuing care. Also, they may have the inside scoop on other providers if you need to go that direction. sometimes they will bend the rules and 'recommend' a provider if you are very sad and upset (which in this case would be possible!).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

The exact same thing happened to me when my oldest was 2. At least you got a call. I didn't know anything was wrong until I got there to see a policeman standing in front of the house and a TV crew sitting on the street. In our case, it was ruled as SIDS and the sitter wasn't held as responsible, which she wasn't. However, she had told us that she was registered with the state and she wasn't, and according to the state she had too many children. Because of that the state shut her down for a couple of months. I ended up having to find another sitter for those two months. Then a spot opened up in the daycare where I wanted my daughter to go so she moved there. It's a terrible thing to have happen for everyone--the parents of the child, the sitter and her family, and all the affected families. It could have just as easily happened when the child was at home.

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