Aurora Police confirms the death of a very young child under the age of 1 last week. The cause of the death was an item found to be a dried pinto bean, which was in a sensory bowl that “included dried pinto beans, hair bows, pacifiers and rubber balls” the infant was given. The child care center (Bright From the Start) has been ordered to close immediately following an investigation into the death of an infant in its care, according to the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
According to WalbNews, during its investigation, Bright From the Start found the infant, after being dropped off that morning, was “engaged in an inappropriate-age activity where (it) had access to an item too small” and which was “capable of causing asphyxiation or strangulation,” prior to its death, according to the closure order.
According to the order, the infant put its hand in the bowl, took a fistful of beans and moved it towards its mouth. A staff member took the items from the infant’s hand and checked its mouth to see if there was anything else in it.
Staff members spotted the infant’s “abnormal” and “labored” breathing shortly after that, the order states.
Later that day, staff noticed the infant’s breathing was worse than before. The order states the center’s director took the child into an office, reached a family member and called EMS. When the infant’s mother arrived, the baby was “pale and crying,” the order explains.
The mother said she would drive her child to the hospital, which was a few minutes away, but the center director said she was in no condition to drive and that they should wait for EMS, the order states.
EMS was called several more times and eventually, the infant was taken to Coffee Regional Medical Center.
The order states the child suffered a heart attack while waiting for treatment and was then airlifted to a hospital in Savannah. A peanut-shaped item was found in the child’s throat and surgery was attempted.
“The attempts to remove the blockage caused the obstructive item to break into pieces,” according to the order. “After three attempts to remove the blockage from the infant’s airway, the infant died.”