Baby Death at Pope Child Development Center

Posted on Feb 26, 2013

fayetteville child abuse attorneyEagle Child Development Center at Pope Air Force Base, formerly Pope Child Development Center, is one of the child care options available to Fayetteville, North Carolina families on base or off-base who have children between 6 weeks of age and 5 years. Last year we reviewed a string of unexplained infant deaths that took place at Fort Bragg in private residences. Around the same time the deaths happened, a four-month-old baby boy suffered a fatal brain injury caused by negligent supervision at Pope Child Development Center.

New reports offer a horrifying account of the incidents that took place just prior to the infant's death. The infant, the son of Rachel and Jason Degenhard, was exhibiting signs of discomfort while laying on his stomach unsupervised in a Pope Child Development Center classroom. The caregiver who was responsible for him and other children in the room had left him to clean the room and use the bathroom. During this time, video footage shows the baby stops moving. Two other staff members enter the room and indicate something must be wrong with the baby, but no one tends to him. The Degenhards later learn at the hospital that their baby's brain activity had ceased caused to lack of oxygen, and as the video indicates, the suffocation was the result of poor supervision and care.

Child abuse and neglect as exhibited in this devastating Fayetteville, NC case brings attention to three important factors:

  1. State regulations for child care centers. Eagle Child Development Center is located on federal property and does not need a state license in order to operate. The center does have a state license even though it is not required.
  2. Background checks and proper ongoing training for caregiving staff. The video footage shows the attending caregiver administering mouth-to-mouth to the unresponsive child, but she failed to give chest compressions. Although her training is up-to-date, now families are considering a push for updating regulations, requiring more frequent or advanced training.
  3. Proper system for families to research North Carolina child care. Our North Carolina child abuse attorneys have offices in Fayetteville, Dunn and Raleigh. If you search online for information about our firm, the location details are easily found, along with reviews from clients, and our latest social media activity. When families are trying to find safe child care in Fayetteville, NC, the Degenhard's baby's death will not be found under Eagle Child Development Center. Just a month after the baby's death, Pope Child Development Center quietly changed their name to Eagle Child Development Center.



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