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Parents take preschool to court over child’s death

Date Posted: 2008-08-14

The parents of a seven-month-old baby that died while in care of a Nakagusuku Village preschool have sued the school for shirking its responsibilities.
The parents’ suit charges the preschool should have been more carefully in watching the child, and seeks ¥68 million in damages. The child was taken to the preschool in March, leaving the baby in care of preschool attendants. The parents charge the school with laying the baby on its face, causing the baby to stop breathing.
Preschool officials noticed the baby boy not breathing about an hour after arrival, and took him to a hospital. Thirteen days later, the boy died. “The preschool put the baby to sleep on his face, with his nose and mouth closed by the futon,” the parents say. “Our baby couldn’t breathe. Why didn’t the preschool staff watch him? They should have noticed.”
The suit charges the preschool employees have the responsibility for care giving, and should have been more careful. Officials say the preschool usually has babies sleeping flat on their backs, but say that on this day there were other children playing near the baby, “so it looks like they stepped on the baby and the staff moved the baby’s face.”
A police investigation in the incident is continuing.

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