Authorities investigate death of child at Tulsa daycare

Friday, August 23rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

There's new information in the death of a baby boy who quit breathing at a Tulsa daycare.
The News On Six was first to bring you this story Thursday night. Now, investigators and family members are waiting on the autopsy results to explain why Carson Clark died.

His parents dropped him off at the Child's Play daycare last week and four hours later, he was blue and lifeless. Police believe this is a case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but, the family suspects a daycare worker put the baby into bed with a propped up bottle and he choked on his formula.

Regardless of how he died, the family says the daycare workers didn't immediately call 911 or do CPR and they want to know why.

John Woodard, the victim's uncle and attorney says, "They have not called the family yet and it's been over a week. We don't know why they didn't do anything or if they did something that we just don't know about."

The attorney for the daycare center says "As soon as it was determined the child was not breathing, medical attention was sought, 911 called and CPR began. All information's been turned over to the insurance company."

The autopsy results are pending.

"We do know that the baby aspirated milk, we do know that the baby threw up milk. So sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon, someone at the childcare center gave that baby formula, and wasn't paying attention," the family's attorney says.

That sums up a former complaint to the DHS, allegations of neglect and lack of supervision. The child welfare and the licensing divisions are both investigating.

The agency's public records indicate Child's Play had been cautioned at least three times in the last year about the staff not being able to see and hear infants and toddlers at all times.

A handwritten floor plan shows where infants are kept in the facility; in a separate room.

First aid is another issue. Veterinarian Lisa Munson says she and Carson's mother ran from next door and began CPR while a daycare worker made a 911call.

Munson says part of the reason Jennifer Croisant chose Child's Play was that she believed they knew CPR.

But DHS inspector Peter Ngo repeatedly requested proof that anyone at the center was certified in basic first aid nothing in the file indicates compliance.

Lisa Munson is accustomed to treating animals and she learned CPR just this year.

"Because you just never know when a situation is going to happen like this and how devastating to not just the family but everybody else involved who - you know - loved that child."

The DHS file on Child's Play also had remarks about too little staffing, a complaint not uncommon in daycare center files.