ADHSS: Day Care In Toddler Death Case Cited Before

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by Natalie Travis

(Wasilla, AK) Illuminations Child Care, where officials say toddler Faith Phillips suffocated on a piece of play ground equipment, was fined in the past for allegedly failing to give proper supervision.

Ree Sailors, Deputy Commissioner for family, community and integrated services says the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services performed an unannounced site visit June 2011. Officials found enough evidence to support complaints related to the supervision of children.

According to Sailors Illuminations was cited for failure to ensure children in care received appropriate supervision and failure to protect them from exposure to possible harm. Specifics on the citations weren't released, but Sailors did confirm a fine and the requirement of a plan of correction, which was carried out.

There are general guidelines when it comes to child care safety, things like no sharp edges or no hazards allowing the child to get caught. Sailors claims the castle like big toy where Phillips allegedly stuck her head through a cut-out, causing her to be strangled on Thursday and declared dead over the weekend, had not been cited as a hazard.

The department says it extends its sympathy to the toddler's family, calling the incident horrific.

The department also wants to let people know it takes child care licensing very seriously.

" We always continuously look at what are the best practices and we want  to tell parents that we will continue to try and guarantee them that when a child is in care, that child care center has met the standards," said Sailors.

Sailors also says the department got a call from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Board, saying It's going to take a look at the playground piece to see if there's any on-going hazard based on the toy in general.

Both the toddler family and the owner of Illuminations Child Care could not be reached today.

Right now a sign is posted on the day care stating it will be closed until further notice.






 

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