Babysitter Convicted Of Reckless Supervision Following Death of Infant

Candace Jones, 38, of Scottsburg was convicted last week in Scott Circuit Court of reckless supervision by a child care provider for her actions that caused the death of Emily, a 6 month-old entrusted to her care, according to Scott County Prosecutor Chris Owens. Jones, 38, was charged in June of this year with neglect of dependent causing death, reckless supervision by a childcare provider, and operating a child care home without a license.
On Nov. 12, Jones pleaded guilty of reckless supervision by a childcare provider and was sentenced by Scott Circuit Court Judge Jason Mount to 8 1/2 years. She was given credit for the 95 days she served in Scott County Jail and the 7 1/2 years of her sentence was suspected. She was placed on probation for 7 1/2 years.
On May 30, 2019, Jones babysat for Emily and seven other children at her home on South Frontage Road in southern Scott County.
She laid Emily on her stomach on an adult bed and surrounded her with blankets and pillows thinking they would keep her from rolling off. The bedroom where Emily napped contained no baby monitor or any other type of monitoring device, Owens said.
While Emily was napping, Jones went outside of the house to watch some of the older kids play. At some point during the nap, Emily suffocated on bedding which she had been surrounded to protect her. Emily was discovered by Jones with the comforter on top of her and unresponsive when her mother arrived to pick her up.
“The Scott County Prosecutor’s Office worked throughout this process with Emily’s parents to assure that Jones was convicted and admitted wrongdoing for her reckless actions,” Owens said.
Death was preventable with proper education, says mother.
Sarah Broady, Emily’s mother, said, “I will never be able to fully explain the heartache and devastation our family feels from losing Emily. No amount of time can heal this type of pain. I want to try to help other families make sure this preventable death does not happen to their child.
She encourages parents to research safe sleep and practice it during every single sleep (for your child).
“Approximately 3,500 babies in the United States die every year from sleep-related infant deaths. We can’t just rely on things that worked ten or twenty years ago because those practices have been proven to not be safe,” said Broady. “I also encourage you to check, double check, and check again to make sure whoever is caring for your baby, whether that be a sitter, grandparent, or a friend, is following the same safe sleep routines you practice in our own home. Your baby’s life depends on you being knowledgeable and up to date on safe sleep practices, as so many things have changed over the years due to research.” “We will always wonder who Emily would have been, but I like to think that in every life saved through Emily’s story, her bright smile and sweet memory will live on.”
Owens encourages anyone entrusted to care for a baby to follow The ABC’s of Safe Sleep.
The ABC’s stand for Alone, Back, and Crib.
Alone – Babies should always be on their own sleep surface free from any co-sleeping.
Back – Babies should be placed on their back for every sleep.
Crib – The crib in which a baby sleeps should be empty. This means no bumper pads, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, toys, or supplies like diapers and wipes.
According to nationwidechildrens.org, a safe crib is a bassinet, play-yard or crib that has the spindles no wider that 2-3/8 inches apart and sides that do not drop down. When using one of these safe sleep places, you should always use a firm mattress and tightly fitted sheet.
When in a position where a sleeping baby is entrusted to you, be sure that you are always in a place that allows you to monitor the baby.
Although it is not feasible to always be in the same room as a sleeping baby, one should take steps to assure that they can monitor the baby or at least frequently check in on the child. Baby monitors are a great way to assure that the child is still safe and healthy.
In addition to assuring that there are no objects in bed with the baby, you should also refrain from allowing the baby to sleep with adults, other children, or pets, Owens said.