Infant Daughter of Eritrean Asylum Seekers Dies at Unlicensed Tel Aviv Daycare Center

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A caregiver prepares to change a baby at the Unitaf day-care center in the Hatikva neighborhood, Tel Aviv, April 2, 2015.Credit: Ariel David

A seven-month-old baby girl died in Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv on Wednesday afternoon. The cause of death is still unknown. The girl, the child of Eritrean asylum seekers, was sent to the hospital from her day care center in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv.

The preliminary police examination found the infant was brought by her father to the center in the morning, when he told the staff the girl had fallen, which was why she was crying. At some point in the afternoon, the childcare worker noticed the girl was not breathing and called an ambulance and her father.

Magen David Adom said it received a call about an unconscious child around 3 P.M. The paramedics team tried that arrived to the scene said they found her not breathing and without a pulse. They attempted to resuscitate her before evacuating her to the hospital.

The police have opened an investigation into the incident.

This is the second death in an unlicensed day care center in less than a month. Three weeks ago, an Eritrean baby boy who was under a year old choked to death at another day care center in Hatikva. The reasons for the death were unclear. The childcare worker apparently didn't notice the baby's condition, and called for help too late. The boy was evacuated to Ichilov Hospital in critical condition and died several days later, while the worker was questioned.

A 2015 study found that five children died due to poor conditions in unlicensed day care centers in south Tel Aviv. The 47 centers reviewed in the study are located mainly in private houses or apartments and care for some 1,500 children from birth until age 7.

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