Arrest papers: 3-month-old boy died due to unsafe sleep environment at unlicensed Widefield daycare

Crime

WIDEFIELD, Colo. — A woman is facing multiple child abuse charges after a 3-month-old boy in her care became unresponsive while napping in an adult bed and then died at a hospital in February, according to arrest papers released Wednesday.

Dana McNair, 53, is charged with one count of child abuse causing death and 14 counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

In an interview the day of the boy’s death, McNair told deputies she had given the 3-month-old boy a bottle, burped him, and changed his diaper. She then took him to a bedroom and laid him on an adult bed for a nap. She told deputies she laid the boy on his left side and stuffed a rolled comforter behind his back to prop him up, then covered him with a blanket.

McNair then went to the kitchen to make lunch for the other children in her care, according to arrest papers. After about 15 minutes, she returned to check on the boy and found he had rolled from his side onto his stomach, and was facedown on the mattress. She picked him up, put him on a flat surface, and called 911 while beginning CPR.

First responders took the boy to the hospital, where he had another cardiac arrest incident, according to arrest papers. He died that evening.

An autopsy determined the boy’s death was an accident, caused by a medical condition “associated with an unsafe sleep environment and prone position.” The autopsy report noted the boy was in an unsafe sleep environment: an adult bed with two sheets, a blanket, and a comforter underneath him.

McNair told investigators she normally laid the baby down on the couch, propped up on his side with blankets so he couldn’t roll over. She decided to put the boy in the bed because she was worried one of the other children might disturb him while he was sleeping, she told deputies.

McNair told deputies before the boy was put on the bed, he was “smiling and happy,” and there was nothing concerning about his behavior or appearance.

McNair told deputies she has been watching the boy for about a month.

According to arrest papers, deputies eventually determined McNair was caring for approximately 22 children on the day the boy died, though not all of them were in the home at the time. McNair was the only adult in the home at the time, according to deputies.

McNair told deputies she watches five children permanently, but February 5 “was out of the ordinary because she had extra children who were dropped off for one reason or another.”

McNair told deputies she had been doing childcare for about 18 years, but was not licensed because she only watches five or fewer children at a time as regulars.

McNair was released from jail Monday after posting $50,000 bond, according to court records. Her next court appearance is set for June 24.

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