The family of a dead baby is devastated and angered at the judge’s decision after the day care worker who gave their child a deadly dose of allergy medicine was released on $25,000 unsecured bail.
Six-month-old Harper of Matthews, North Carolina, was found unresponsive and not breathing at her state-certified, in-home day care facility in January. It was Harper’s third day at the facility.
According to a criminal investigation, Harper was given diphenhydramine, the active, sedating ingredient in allergy medicines such as Benadryl. She had high doses of Benadryl In her system, that’s basically what killed her.
The medical examiner’s autopsy explained children under the age of 6 should not be given diphenhydramine without a doctor’s note. Harper’s doctor had not prescribed the medication.
In an interview with NBC Charlotte, Harper’s grandfather, Larry Briar, recalled the moment his son called to tell them their grandchild wasn’t breathing.
“My son called me hysterical,” Briar recalled. “He was saying Harper wasn’t breathing.”
His wife, Jennifer, blamed the day care worker for lack of basic awareness and being irresponsible.
“I think if you’re a day care provider you should have the basic awareness that that’s not ok,” Jennifer said. “It doesn’t make sense. This was senseless. This was laziness. This was all something that could have been prevented.”
Police charged the day care worker, identified as Stacey Vaillancourt, with manslaughter and cruelty to a child—but a judge released her on $25,000 unsecured bail.
Meanwhile, Larry and Jennifer continue to grieve the loss of their first grandchild.