Toddler Drowns at NJ Daycare Center | Law Firm Newswire

Toddler Drowns at NJ Daycare Center

Petrillo & Goldberg Law.

Petrillo & Goldberg Law

Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) December 22, 2014 – On November 11, a 15-month-old boy was found dead in a pond at a Millville facility after his caregiver stepped away to tend to another child.

Unintentional drownings are among the most tragic of fatal incidents, and those that claim the life of a child are especially tragic -- yet unfortunately, not all that uncommon.

According to police, the drowning occurred at Sunshine Day Care Center, which is run out of the Millville home of Roxanne Lacy. Police say that Lacy was supervising a group of children on the porch when she went inside to tend to another toddler. When she returned, she noticed that one of the children was missing; the child, a 15-month-old boy, was later found in a one-foot-deep goldfish pond on the property. Attempts to resuscitate the child were unsuccessful. He was taken to Inspira Medial Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

The Millville Police Department said that the incident appears to have been accidental. However, the police as well as the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office and the state Department of Children and Families Child Protection and Permanency Division are conducting an investigation into both the fatality and the legality of the daycare center's general operation. Department of Children and Families records show that the facility was not a licensed child care center.

“Any alleged licensing violation at a facility in which a child has died is serious matter for the state to consider,” said Steven Petrillo, a prominent Pennsauken, NJ personal injury attorney. “In the Millville daycare center drowning, though, there are premises liability issues that are immediately raised as well, including the responsibility of the landowner to provide safe conditions for the visitors, in this case the children, who would enter the property for a legitimate reason.”

While legal issues remain to be determined, the tragic daycare center death of an extremely young toddler has amplified some decidedly grim facts. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 10 people die every day in the United States from unintentional drowning. Of those fatalities, two are children aged 14 and younger. Indeed, after birth defects, drowning is blamed for the most deaths among children ages one to four; drownings are the second leading cause of death, behind motor vehicle crashes, among children ages one to 14.

“So many unintentional drownings, particularly of children, could be prevented with simple precautions, such as proper supervision or the installation of adequate barriers,” Petrillo said. “Unfortunately, a child can drown quickly and quietly, and parents or guardians need to be careful not to be distracted by activities that could prevent them from reaching their children in time to save them.”

Petrillo & Goldberg Law

6951 North Park Drive
Pennsauken, NJ 08109

19 South 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

70 South Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Phone: 856-486-4343
Fax: 856:486-7979

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