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Babies’ death shocker

by Emmanuel Joseph
3 min read
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The island’s child protection agency is to launch an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of two babies while allegedly being breast-fed by their mother.

Telling Barbados TODAY she did not have all the facts, Director of the Child Care Board (CCB) Joan Crawford said her agency will now have to look into the matter.

“I would have to enquire because I am not familiar with the whole issue at all. All I can say is that we always encourage parents to be careful around small children,” Crawford stated.

Her comments followed reports today from police that they were carrying out investigations into the circumstances surrounding the unnatural death of two two-week-old babies.

Police spokesman Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss said that yesterday (Wednesday, August 19), officers responded to a report at Rendezvous Terrace, Christ Church.

“On arrival, the bodies of two babies, two weeks old, were discovered unresponsive. The related facts are that both of the deceased resided at the residence with their parents and other relatives,” Inniss reported.

“At the time, both babies were being breast-fed by their mother, when she allegedly fell asleep leaning forward in a position which caused her breasts to block their airways. A medical doctor pronounced death [at] about 11.21 p.m.” he added.

Distraught family members contacted Barbados TODAY and strongly objected to the police report.

They, however, did not provide any further details.

UNESCO child advocate and former juvenile court magistrate Faith Marshall-Harris described the incident as a terrible tragedy.

However, Marshall-Harris, a former coroner told Barbados TODAY the information which was made available to her is not sufficient at this time to make an informed statement.

“It’s not a lot one can say. It seems to be a terrible tragedy, but it is not enough information for me to say anything,” she declared.

This tragedy rekindled memories of the July 2015 death of a four-month-old baby girl whose mother awoke to find her daughter still and unresponsive. Instead of having the child Kashia wake her as usual at 4 a.m. for her feeding, Katrina Douglas rose from sleep just after 6 a.m. to the horror of finding the infant not moving.                                                                                                           

The mother said that the toddler would usually wake her up, but that morning she did not feel her moving, so she went to take her up, but discovered she was cold.                                                                  

Douglas, who has four other children, said she and Kashia were the only two people sharing the bed at their home in Dash Valley, St George. (emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb)

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