SALEM, Ore.--A nine-month old infant died after becoming unconscious in a day care center in Lane County in August. Now, House Republicans are demanding to know why they're only learning about it now.
House Republican Leader Carl Wilson says he learned about the death in an article published by The Oregonian on March 5th. The day care where the child died was state-regulated.
In a letter to a Oregon's U.S. attorney today- Wilson said it was either "gross negligence" by DHS or it was covered up for political reasons. The death occurred in the middle of governor campaign.
The House GOP is asking the Department of Justice to examine the death and the steps taken by the government after it. Republicans say they're concerned by the disturbing pattern of failures and questionable practices within the department of human services. The day care center where the infant died had been cited before for unsafe sleep practices in June 2018.
Newswatch 12 talked with a local daycare provider about about how the state regulates their business.
Kimberly Wilson, Owner of Precious Angels LLC in Medford, says that the state makes unannounced home visits to her daycare about once a year. She says they are checking her home for both safety and health violations. She says the state will also come out to inspect if a parent makes a complaint to the DHS.
"If an offense is founded then you have to actually post it where parents can find it and notify the parents that you have actually been found not following regulations," says Wilson.
But she says that's a new regulation.
Wilson told NewsWatch 12 about the sleep practices for infants that she is required to follow.
"You are to lay them on their backs and it has to be in a playpen or a crib. There can be no loose blankets, if there is a sheet is has to be loose fitting the only thing that can be in with the infant is a pacifier. No toys, no bibs, no blankets, stuffed animals," says Wilson.
She also has to follow rules about how many kids she can have in her care at a time and making sure all unsafe objects, medications, and chemicals are kept out of a child's reach.
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