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Report says day care took a minute to call 911 when baby choked

Report says day care took a minute to call 911 when baby choked

  • PublishedJune 12, 2024

An incident investigation report by the Georgia Dept. of Early Care and Learning outlines what happened at the Kids Nest Learning Center when a 16-month-old choked.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — An incident investigation report by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, aka DECAL, is providing more details into what happened when a 16-month-old choked on a piece of fruit.

The toddler, Jamal Bryant, choked on a piece of watermelon at the Kids Nest Learning Center in Brunswick on May 21, 2024. He later died at the hospital. 

The report revealed a staff member brought in the watermelon as a snack that day. The fruit was not part of the planned menu. Under DECAL rules, day care centers are supposed to update the planned menus to reflect any substitutions or changes.

According to the report, the watermelon was not cut up into smaller pieces for the toddlers. The report also states staff members were not closely supervising the children and did not notice Bryant pick up a piece of the watermelon. The fruit was two to three inches in size.

Staff members were observed talking to each other and not closely watching the children when Bryant approached them in distress and choking. The report states staff members waited one minute and forty-eight seconds before calling 911. 

DECAL requires at least 50% of caregiver staff to successfully complete biennial training for CPR. According to the incident investigative report, only one of the five staff members at Kids Nest had valid CPR training. Because of this, DECAL states staff members did not have the training to provide adequate first aid.

In the report, DECAL also outlines Plans of Improvement for each complaint. Those plans include ensuring staff members have valid CPR training and food preparation training.

The Kids Nest was ordered to close for 21 days while DECAL conducted their investigation. The emergency closure expires on June 13, 2024; however, as of June 12th, DECAL was not finished with their investigation. 

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