Evil among us
Thursday November 18th 2010, Babysitter Brenda Jean Caringer, 55, was found guilty of felony child abuse in the January 2009 death of 9-month-old Lucas Theede-Bennett.
Circuit Court Judge Calvin Holden began his decision recapping the events of the trial.
“This has never been an easy case," The Judge stated, he then went on to outline that sometime between the hours of 1:45 pm and 2:46 pm on Jan. 6, 2009 something tragic happened that ended this sweet little life. The Judge also stated that Caringer changed her story when she spoke to first responders who arrived after she called 911; more than once that her timeline didn’t fit the facts.
The Defense attempted to say that a series of falls the little baby experienced in the eight days before January 6th were a slow lead-up to triggering his death, the Prosecution argued that Caringer on the other hand was the only person who could be responsible for the traumatic head injuries. Testimony of multiple medical professionals and examiners, led the Judge to determine that Lucas’ injuries were the result of child abuse inflicted minutes before his death.
“We miss you little boy, We Love you” The boy's Aunt, and family spokesperson said through tears.
A National Problem
While these incidents are rare they are unfortunately a national problem, with stories cropping up all over the country of child abuse in day care centers. During the late 80’s and early 90’s there was an epidemic of child abuse complaints that led to many child care providers changing their rules and regulations as well as simply going out of business to avoid the false allegations that came forward. Unfortunately because of such epidemics now many times people have a hard time believing when real abuse takes place that the child care provider could be to blame. They are after all the very people we trust our children with.
Headlines in local papers that read “day care worker facing charges of child abuse” should be enough to shock any parent into action. Still it shouldn’t cause another panic, parents who know and trust their child care worker should in many respects be fine. One story out of Louisville highlights though the parents inaction, when in the same news article the parent is quoted as saying “many times I picked my child up to find that they were wet and I didn’t know how long they had been that way.” Concerns early on should play as warning signs to parents that something is not right and alternative care should be sought.
In Omaha recently a young child care provider was arrested for shaking a baby in her care. While these cases that are still pending show a major need for the public and the police to assume innocent until proven guilty, they also show that there are hidden dangers associated with the child care industry that should be addressed now rather than later.
If you don't have the patience do something else
Willard Baby sitter found guilty of child abuse leading to the death of an infant in her care. When I read the story that this woman was on trial for possibly murdering a nine month old in her care I wept, then when my babies got here I gave them each a hug and a promise as long as I looked after them nothing bad would ever happen.
If you don't have the patience to work with kids please don't. There is no excuse for losing your patience or temper and shaking a baby to death. I can't imagine any of the children that I watch ever pushing me to that point. Babies cry, babies fuss, toddlers get into things you don't want them too, but there is no reason for hurting a child.
A word of caution
Before I started my day care I worked full time for Wal-Mart. One afternoon when I got off of work and picked my then ten month old son up from the sitter she looked at me point blank and said "This is the worst baby I've ever watched." We never went back. Somehow I wonder if I was one of the lucky ones, did I get my son away from someone who might have harmed him just in time. Could the worse be that she would have told him that someday or would she have been like the sitter in Willard? I don't know, I know I count my blessings that I was able to walk away from her with my son instead of these wonderful people who had to bury theirs.
For parents finding a good sitter is hard. It is one of the scariest propositions ever, finding someone you can trust with the most important person or people in your life. The only advice I can give parents is go with your gut, if there is something about your sitter that you don't trust or don't like, don't leave your child there. It might be nothing but it is better to over react and find someone else then under react and wonder if you shouldn't have gone with that feeling.
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