A family received a shocking call from a day care manager just hours after their baby boy was dropped off at A Hug A Day Daycare in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Wednesday morning.
The child’s grandmother, Helena Harris, recalled the moment she found out her 10-month-old grandson, Areon Ellington, was choking on a pine cone.
Harris told WRAL:
“The daycare lady called me and told me that I needed to get to the daycare because Areon was choking on something.”
The grandmother said the child got into a hazardous item while playing outside at the day care. A family member told WTVD:
“This baby had a piece of pine cone in his mouth and it blocked his air passage.”
However, the family is demanding answers after the little boy died at the center, which is run out of a home. Harris said:
“My grandbaby is gone. Somebody needs to be responsible for what happened to him.”
Police have ruled the child’s death an accident and have not made any arrests during the investigation. WTVD was unable to get in touch with the center’s owner, Antoinette Rochelle, but state records indicate there have been violations at the day care since it began operating in 2003.
However, neighbors said Rochelle is a “good woman who runs a good day care,” the outlet reports.
According to home experts, parents and child care providers can prevent tragedies by babyproofing the exterior of their homes or day care centers.
In addition, people with small children should watch out for choking hazards like small plants, berries, rocks, pine cones, and even mushrooms.
However, no amount of babyproofing is a substitute for the “watchful eye” of an adult supervising a small child.
Watch the video below: