Infant Found Motionless In Nanny’s House Allegedly Fed Asthma Medication Without Parents’ Permission

Final Cause Of Death For 6-Month-Old Infant Found Motionless In Nanny’s House Still Undetermined

About a year ago, Singaporeans were confronted with the tragic death of a six-month-old boy who died at his nanny’s house.

6-Month-Old Boy Found Lying Motionless In Nanny’s House, Case Classified As Unnatural Death

The nanny reportedly found the infant motionless, lying face-down in the playpen. He had fallen asleep there in the afternoon without a pillow or blanket.

When the parents were notified of the incident and rushed to the hospital, it was too late. Doctors suspected the infant had already stopped breathing when he reached the hospital.

Infant put to sleep at 3pm, found motionless 3 hours later

This case was heard in the coroner’s court on Monday (27 Mar). According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the boy’s parents, Mr Yong Chen Seng and Madam Toh Jinq Lay, were in attendance.

However, the nanny was not named.

The investigation officer in charge of this case said the nanny had fed the baby before putting him to sleep in the playpen. This was at around 3pm on 28 Dec 2021.

At about 6.20pm, the nanny returned to retrieve and shower the baby.

Unfortunately, she found him motionless. He was lying face-down at the corner of the playpen’s mattress.

The nanny then realised the baby had turned blue and was unresponsive when she tried to carry him.

Gene mutation among 3 possible reasons that led to baby’s death

She then got her son to call for an ambulance. The operator on the ‘995’ call instructed her to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the baby until paramedics arrived.

Three paramedics attended to the call. Two of them concluded that the baby was already cold, but the third paramedic said that they felt some warmth. So, the baby was taken to Sengkang General Hospital.

Alas, despite the efforts, he was pronounced dead that night.

At first, it was reported that the baby died of cardiorespiratory failure. But the forensic pathologist from the Health Sciences Authority revealed this was just a “placeholder” before more investigations could be conducted.

The Straits Times stated that three possible reasons led to the baby’s death:

  • positional asphyxia — the baby was found face down
  • acute inflammation in the lungs — but the condition was not severe enough to be pneumonia
  • gene mutation — something the doctor found that affected the transportation of ions to the heart.

However, the final cause of death is yet to be determined.

Nanny had left the house while baby was asleep

The investigation officer said the nanny had left home before the baby was found. She allegedly left the baby and another child she was looking after in the care of her 13-year-old son.

However, there was no evidence that the nanny’s son left his room to check on the children while she was away.

Madam Toh, the baby’s mother, revealed that he had been in the nanny’s care since he was three months old. Apparently, the nanny had a habit of swaddling the baby and letting him sleep while faced down.

Since the nanny had children of her own and would have more experience, Madam Toh thought she would go along with it when the nanny let her baby sleep in that position.

She asked if that was how the baby slept on the day he died, but the investigation officer could not confirm it.

infant motionless

Source: Ryan Stone on Unsplash, for illustration purposes only

Madam Toh said her son would sleep for only about an hour at home. However, the nanny said he usually slept three to four hours at her place.

The nanny reportedly did not enter the room where the playpen was on the day of his death because the baby usually slept for three to four hours.

This means no one checked on the baby for the three hours he was in the room that day.

Nanny allegedly fed baby asthma medication without parent’s permission

CNA also reported that the nanny suspected that the baby had asthma as the nanny and her son were both asthmatic.

She was believed to have fed him 1ml of Zenmolin on 26 Dec 2021. This was done without the parents’ approval.

At the end of the hearing, State Coroner Adam Nakhoda instructed the investigation officer to go back and clarify some points from the session with the nanny.

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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News on Facebook.

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