Day care worker disabled safety alarm in hot van where 2-year-old died: Report
A day care worker turned off what could have been a life-saving alarm in a van where a 2-year-old boy died after he was left inside for hours on a scorching Florida day, according to a new report.
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The staff member told investigators she shut off the safety alarm — which would have alerted her if a child was inside the vehicle — before letting the children exit and leaving the van, according to a report by the Broward County Child Care Licensing and Enforcement.
Staff members are required to turn the alarm off only when they “physically inspect each seat” in the vehicle, according to the report.
Noah Sneed was left inside the vehicle on July 29 and was found dead by a day care employee Ceressa’s Daycare and Preschool in Oakland Park five hours later, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
It was not clear in the report, which didn’t list any employee names, if it was the same worker.
Temperatures that day reached 91 degrees.
The report found other failings in the day care’s conduct, including not properly keeping a log of the children and not properly securing Noah in his seat.
On the morning of his death, staff members did not fill out an attendance sheet for the children because the director who normally did so was not there, according to the report.
As for how Noah was transported in the van, he was not put in a federally-approved child safety seat as required for children under three years old. Instead, he was placed in his seat and secured by a seat belt, the report stated.
Following the report’s release, the daycare “surrendered their license” and permanently closed, Broward County spokesman William Karp told ABC News. Homicide detectives with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the boy’s death.
Noah was the 24th child to die in a hot car this year in the U.S., according to national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org. Since his death, five more children have died in hot cars.
ABC News’ Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.