An Arizona family is grieving the loss of their 19-month-old son after he choked and died while at daycare. The child's mother, Star Jones, says that she dropped of her baby boy, Symhir, at Tiffany's In Home Child Care. She said that he was smiling and that when she told him she loved him before leaving, he replied "I love you too". "I felt like my baby was so safe," Jones said.
Jones never in a million years thought that this moment would be the last she would spend with her little boy.
Later that day Jones got a call from Tiffany, the operator of the daycare, telling her that Symhir was choking but "help was on the way".
"I just kept asking her, is my baby okay? Is he okay? She said he's okay, yes they're taking the food out of his mouth. They're still getting the food out of his mouth. He's okay. He's okay," Jones said.
But Symihir didn't make it.
Jones says that she found the daycare center from a flyer posted on social media. The flyer stated that the daycare was CPR certified. That statement, she would later find, wasn't true at all.
"I didn't know that she hadn't had CPR license until the paramedics and the detectives were questioning her. She told them she hadn't had a license in years," she said.
Mesa police say they're still investigating what happened and no charges have been filed. As for Jones, she has this message for other parents:
"Just giving them awareness of the things to look for and you know, proof of everything that the child care provider is saying they have," Jones said. "Because there are little things that I missed that I feel guilty as a parent even though I feel like I did everything as a parent."
"Tiffany's In Home Child Care" does not show up when you search for it under the Arizona Department of Public Health's data base for licensed child care providers in the state.
State law says in-home day cares must be licensed if they have more than four children in their care. If they have four or less, they don't have to register.
"I never expected to have to bury my 19-month-old child," Jones told ABC15 in Arizona.
Symhir's family has organized a GoFundMe campaign to help with expenses that have come as a result of his death.
This is truly a parent's worst nightmare. If you are considering ANY childcare facility for your little one the rules and regulations vary by state however, IT IS YOUR RIGHT to see their licensing, their inspection reports and the certifications for ALL STAFF.
Search the state database for any types of non-compliance violations they may have had. Speak to other parents who have children in the facility and find parents who have removed their children. Search the name of the facility on Facebook and other social media sites to see if others have written complaints in their statuses. Also, check the sex offender registry for the area the childcare center is located in! Most facilities allow children to go on short walks and you want to know where your child is going!
You ARE NOT doing too much by thoroughly investigating your child's home away from home.