(Lehigh Township, Pa.) — A Pennsylvania childcare center has been shut down after a 3-month-old infant died on her mother’s first day back to work.
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services issued an emergency closure order on April 5 to shut down Sharon’s Day Care in Lehigh Township after it said an employee left the infant, McKenna Rose Felmly, unsupervised for almost a half an hour as she napped — during which time she became unresponsive.
McKenna Rose was placed in a crib “outside of measured child care space” for a scheduled nap on April 1, according to the removal order. A daycare employee told the Department of Human Services that she left the room to tend to other children for about 25 minutes at the end of the infant’s two-hour nap period.
When the employee returned to the room, she said the infant was unresponsive and her lips were blue, according to the removal order. The employee alerted a coworker, who called 911 while the employee administered CPR.
McKenna Rose was then transported to Palmerton Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
There were no external signs of trauma on the infant’s body, the Carbon County Coroner’s Office confirmed to ABC News. A cause of death has not been determined.
The infant’s mother, Adrienne Kromer, was on her first day back to work from maternity leave when she dropped 3-month-old McKenna Rose off at daycare, according to the family’s GoFundMe page.
“It was her first day back to work and our beautiful little [princess’] first day at daycare,” the child’s father and fiancé of her mother, Brian Felmly, wrote.
Felmly wrote that McKenna Rose “seemed fine” with “no signs of illness or distress” when Kromer dropped her off at Sharon’s Day Care at 7:45 a.m. on April 1. Throughout the day, Kromer called three times to see how she was doing, and an employee assured her that morning that the 3-month-old was fine.
Around lunchtime, Felmly said an employee called to tell Kromer that McKenna Rose would not take a bottle. Kromer called back, he said, around 2:30 p.m. and a daycare worker said McKenna Rose had only consumed 1.5 ounces of milk. Kromer agreed to leave work an hour early, which would have been 3:30 p.m., Felmly wrote.
On her way back, at 3:39 p.m., Kromer received a phone call from a daycare employee in a panic who told her that McKenna Rose was not breathing and to get to the center as fast as she could, Felmly wrote. When both Kromer and Felmly arrived at the facility, around 3:50 p.m., their infant daughter had already been taken to the hospital.
“I’m not sure how we are supposed to go on,” Felmly wrote. “There’s no reason why a 3.5 month old healthy baby girl should have lost her life yesterday.”
A complaint was filed to the Department of Human Services two days later, on April 3. As a result of investigations the following day, Sharon’s Daycare was issued the emergency removal order and closed.
ABC News could not immediately reach the owner of Sharon’s Day Care for comment.
The order said the daycare should have had more workers supervising the group based on the children’s ages, per Pennsylvania childcare regulations. McKenna Rose was also left alone for “several periods throughout the day.”
In addition, the daycare center placed McKenna Rose on her stomach to sleep, which is another violation. The closure goes on to mention that the facility failed to maintain an individual record for the infant and allowed her to attend the daycare without the necessary documents required.
The Department of Human Services said the daycare was being shut down due to “gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct in operating a facility likely to constitute an immediate and serious danger to the life or health of the children in care.”
Lehigh Township Chief of Police Scott Fogle told ABC News that investigators are looking into whether the day care center’s violations are connected to McKenna Rose’s death. The department collected the crib she was placed in and anything the baby may have touched as evidence, he said.
In a statement to ABC News, the Department of Human Services said its thoughts were with the family during this “extremely difficult time.”
“The Department of Human Services is committed to supporting the delivery of high-quality child care to Pennsylvania families and protecting Pennsylvania’s greatest asset – our children. On April 5, 2016, we issued an emergency removal to Sharon’s Daycare. DHS is working with the families of the children affected due to the emergency removal to find replacement child care facilities.”
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