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4-month-old boy dies of fractured skull at unauthorized childcare facility

30 Comments

A 4-month-old boy died of a fractured skull at an unauthorized childcare facility in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, police said.

According to police, a male employee of the Chibikko Boy facility called 119 reporting that a baby had stopped breathing at around 4:30 a.m. on Dec 6, Sankei Shimbun reported Thursday. The boy was taken to hospital where he was confirmed dead. An autopsy revealed that he had suffered an external impact to his head which fractured his skull.

A friend of the boy’s mother left him in the care of the facility at midnight on Dec 5.

Police said Thursday that surveillance camera footage did not show the baby falling or being hit by anyone.

Prefectural welfare officials said the facility was not licensed to operate as a childcare center and that there was only one employee, a man in his 30s, on duty at the time. There were four other children at the facility from Saturday night to Sunday morning.

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surveillance camera footage did not show the baby falling or being hit by anyone.

strange. Hurts to hear about children dying whatever the circumstances. RIP little one

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Prefectural welfare officials said the facility was not licensed to operate as a childcare center and that there was only one employee, a man in his 30s, on duty at the time. There were four other children at the facility from Saturday night to Sunday morning."

Advertise free space for rent on AairB&B and get crucified. Run an unlicensed daycare and get the okay, until this kind of thing happens. RIP to the little boy. Hope they find out what happens.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A friend of the boy’s mother left him in the care of the facility at midnight on Dec 5.

Delegating the babysitting?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"a 4-month-old [BABY] boy died... suffered an external impact to his head which fractured his skull"

RIP Akachan!! :-(

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It's almost as amazing to me that someone would run an unlicensed daycare, as it is that they got away with it until this incident (although it's not clear how long that was).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Cold people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This shows the inadequacy of the childcare system. All this spouting off Abe and his cronies are doing about getting women back into the workforce mean nothing if they don't address the issue of childcare.

It's difficult to point blame in this situation. Four month old kids are not too active. My guess would be the kid was dropped, not fell and nobody wants to take the blame for it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Disillusioned - "My guess would be the kid was dropped"

The BABY was four months old and at that age DOES NOT MOVE. You put him down and he doesn't go anywhere. But yes at MIDNIGHT, after being woken up and left with a stranger, with other screaming babies, the BABY WILL CRY UNCONTROLLABLY!!!

The clue is in the title, because chibbiko is not a nice term for a child. Also please note that this article is NOT in the crime section.

Welcome to Japan everyone!!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Something to consider, what if the injury occured "before" arriving at the facility...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Three thoughts when I read this story. First, the reason is that this story is not in the Crime section is not because a crime wasn't committed. It is just that, if there was one committed, it isn't known yet.

Second, there is most certainly more to this story. Obviously if the police have confirmed that nothing happened during the time the baby was at the facility, then that can only mean something happened before. Obviously if something happened hours before that led to swelling of the brain, this could cause death. A good medical examiner would probably have been able to gather the necessary information to make this assessment. One wonders if somebody did something to the baby before it was brought to the facility.

Finally, there have been previous incidents involving unauthorised childcare facilities. Many want to go after these facilities and take aim at the operators. And maybe rightfully so in some cases. However, there is a reason they exist. And it typically has to do with demand for services and what people can afford. Make no mistake. These overnight care facilities/babysitting facilities typically serve families/parents who are at the lower end of the income spectrum. They are often single parent homes. The parent typically has to take jobs that require late night/weekend/shift work which typically pays relatively low wages. Trying to find licensed babysitting/care facilities that accommodate this schedule, that are affordable and that have availability is evidently a challenge. Therefore, it really is not fair for people to start casting stones at those parents who use these facilities without first knowing the specifics around the reasons each of these parents is making use of this type of facility.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It may also be that the child just fell off a bed or something.

The clue is in the title, because chibbiko is not a nice term for a child.

Say what?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This shows the inadequacy of the childcare system.

this happened on a saturday night/sunday morning. there are no licensed child care facilities open over night and on weekends (some might be open on Saturdays, but not all). and unlicensed doesn't necessarily mean that those facilities are bad or poorly run.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The BABY was four months old and at that age DOES NOT MOVE.

Tell that to my 3-month old who can roll over.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Strangeland, these facilities don't have 'beds'. They sleep on futons on the floor. If the camera footage shows nothing, who's to say it didn't happen prior to the child being dropped off. I'm sure the police are thinking this as well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Prefectural welfare officials said the facility was not licensed to operate as a childcare center

I'm not an expert on this but as I understand it, there are many 'unlicensed' daycares in Japan and it doesn't mean that they are somehow shady or operating illegally. I believe the daycares 'authorized' and 'licensed' by the prefecture are simply the ones which are publically funded and subsidized (which don't provide enough places for children and sometimes have a worse reputation). Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangeland, these facilities don't have 'beds'. They sleep on futons on the floor.

We're not talking about 'these facilities', we're talking about 'this facility'. Do you know that this facility has no beds?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@TheGodFather - The BABY was four months old and at that age DOES NOT MOVE.

Ha ha ha! 'Godfather' is a handle handle for you! My son was crawling at four months and walking at eight months old! While it is possible this fell and hurt himself it is more likely he was dropped.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Is this what Abe's neoliberal womanomics looks like? Women in low-paying jobs putting their kids in low-priced, understaffed and unregulated facilities?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For what it's worth, the TV news showed the entire baby bed--what we called a "crib" when I was a kid, a barred bed that is raised a meter or so off the floor--being carried out of the facility by the police.

Other news stories have shown simulations of several such beds/cribs in the facility.

It was very definitely not a futon.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Man left in charge of baby - why, FFS? - drops baby, panics, finds this place open with one hapless employee on duty and dumps him there so that the guy gets the blame. Simple. Tragic...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The child was at the day (night?) care facility for four and a half hours before the worker noticed the child was not breathing. If the injury was received prior to arriving there, then it was slow to manifest itself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Man left in charge of baby - why, FFS? - drops baby, panics, finds this place open with one hapless employee on duty and dumps him there so that the guy gets the blame. Simple. Tragic...

I agree with this statement, except the part about dropping the baby. He probably threw it because he wouldn't stop crying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Unlicensed in Japan?

Impossible!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is horrific. The element of the story that raises immediate alarm bells for me is how "a friend of the boy’s mother left him in the care of the facility at midnight."

At midnight? A friend? Really?

As for unlicensed day cares in Japan, they are everywhere and the vast majority are nowhere near as shady or nefarious as the word would imply. Certainly, there are some that are run by disreputable asshats, but most facilities with something to hide don't place themselves and the children in their care under 24-hour video surveillance, then turn that video over to the police to prove nothing untoward happened.

If I were the police, I would be looking very closely at the mother and her "friend." I'm not suggesting this friend does not exist. I'm saying that the timeline before the child was dropped off needs to be examined very closely. Something stinks here, and it's not the daycare.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Fractured skull? what the hell happened?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"a male employee of the CHIBIKKO Boy facility"

ちびっ子 ----- chibikko ----- rug rat / ankle-biter

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

And? Chibikko doesn't have a negative nuance in Japanese.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Chibikko doesn't have a negative nuance in Japanese.

I agree. It's usually used as a term of endearment for small children, like "little fella'" or "wee one."

In any case, I truly believe the fractured skull occurred before the child was dropped off at the daycare. I mean, how or when else could it have occurred I'd surveillance revealed that the child had not fallen or been hit during the 4 1/2 hours he was there?

The injury happened before he arrived, the friend brought the likely unconscious, unresponsive baby at midnight, utilizing the late hour and a deep sleep as an entirely plausible explanations for this unresponsiveness, and the child died in the intervening 4 hours due to lack of medical attention for a serious head trauma, only to be discovered later when the male employee made the rounds.

It's the only thing that makes sense based on the information available in the news.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@LFRAgain - "It's the ONLY thing that makes sense"

Is it?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

4-month-old boy dies of fractured skull at unauthorized childcare facility

"Unauthorized" Just another example of the nanny state's liberal media. If God wanted us to have Big Government, He would have given us a MyNumber and not an appendix!

Vote LDP!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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