Bnei Brak baby dies at caregiver's home

Hours after a six-month-old boy choked to death on a thin plastic sheet in Bnei Brak on Wednesday afternoon, a second child narrowly avoided drowning to death in a swimming pool. Police were investigating suspicions of negligence in both incidents. Yehuda Blumenfeld died Wednesday after being strangled by a thin plastic table covering that blocked his airways as he lay in his crib. Around 12.30 p.m., Magen David Adom personnel arrived at Bnei Brak's Rehov Rabbi Povarsky. The baby's head had been wrapped by the table covering. Apparently, he either pulled it down or it fell from a nearby table. The ambulance team tried to resuscitate him, and rushed him to nearby Ma'ayanei Hayeshua Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. His caregiver, a 68-year-old woman who was looking after four infants in her home, was questioned by police regarding possible negligence. According to the initial police investigation, the baby suffocated while he was supposed to be taking his afternoon nap. Later Wednesday, a four-year-old boy almost drowned in a swimming pool near Mitzpe Aviv in the Galilee. The boy was rushed to Haifa's Rambam Medical Center in serious condition. Police were investigating suspicions of negligence on the part of the pool's operators. Following the tragic death, Beterem-the National Center for Child Safety and Health, called on the government to regulate home-based child care as well as day care centers and to educate caregivers about preventing choking accidents. Beterem director Dr. Michal Hemmo-Lotem said that irreversible brain damage can take place within two minutes of a child's head being covered with plastic. Beds with soft pillows and blankets, and even stuffed animals that a baby digs his face into, could prevent oxygen from reaching their airways, according to Beterem. Caregivers should not allow soft blankets, dolls and pillows on an infant's bed. A baby's bed should not be placed near a table with a tablecloth or curtains that a child can put over his face. Plastic bags and table coverings should be kept out of reach, as should balloons that might burst, as the rubber pieces can be swallowed.