When Lisa Smith dropped her daughter Mia off at daycare in June 2015 she never imagined that it would be the last time that she saw the 17-month-0ld alive.
Mia was in the care of Valeria Wackerly.
Wackerly had set Mia down for a nap. She then left Mia in the care of a non-licensed childcare provider while she brought her own child to the doctor.
When she returned she found that Mia had stopped breathing and turned purple in her face and toes.
Wackerly immediately performed CPR and her husband ran to call 911.
Mia was rushed to the hospital but died two days later of “positional asphyxia” which means that her head was left in a position that left her unable to breathe.
Investigators later learned that Mia was left in her car seat while she was napping.
According to pediatric experts, babies shouldn’t be left in car seats, strollers, swings, or bouncers for too long.
This is because they are unable to hold up their heads and their positioning could prevent them from being able to breathe properly causing them to suffocate.
About 31 children died between 2004 and 2008 after being left in a car seat for an extended period of time, according to the Journal of Pediatrics.
According to Made For Mums, 30 minutes is a safe amount of time to have your baby in a car seat or travel system.
They should be checked on in 30-minute intervals. A baby should not be in a car seat or stroller for more than two hours at a time.
If you’re traveling you should stop and take a break and remove your baby from the car seat for a while before continuing.
Babies should always be put to sleep on their backs on a flat surface.
Wackerly was unaware of this and regularly allowed children to sleep in their car seats, according to the Des Moines Register.
“I wake up in the morning and I cry when I remember that Mia will not be waiting for me in her crib,” Smith said during Wackerly’s court hearing. “Valerie was a trained, educated and well-compensated caretaker. Yet, her decisions were careless … and a danger to every child in her care.”
Wackerly pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges and was sentenced to three years probation, ordered to pay restitution, and is barred from providing daycare services.
The judge also ordered her to record a public service announcement to be played once a week for three years on a local radio station that warns parents about the dangers of letting their children sleep in car seats outside of vehicles.
“We knew from day one there was no malicious intent but she made a series of wrong decisions that cost my daughter her life,” Smith told Inside Edition.
Smith mother, Janet Ellor, said that her daughter show “Christian compassion” and asked prosecutors to charge Wackerly in such a way that she could avoid a prison sentence.
Since Mia death, Smith and her husband have dedicated their lives to educating people about the dangers of letting their children sleep in car seats.
“We are dedicating ourselves to educating others about the dangers car seats pose if used indoors,” she said. “It was our assumption that Mia napped in a crib and to learn otherwise was very devastating.”
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Source: Inside Edition