The Case: A daycare teacher took a group of 3- and 4-year-old students to the playground and distributed the contents of a box of toys that included jump ropes among other things. She then sat on a bench as the children played. She was the only adult present at the playground. The teacher did not notice a rope being taken to the top of a slide, then being looped around the railing of the slide’s platform, or being looped around a 3-year-old’s neck. The teacher did not notice anything was wrong until she saw the child hanging motionless on the slide by the jump rope. His face was blue and he did not appear to be breathing. At the hospital, the child experienced seizure activity, posturing, and clenching of the teeth, all consistent with a hypoxic brain injury. The child spent several nights in the hospital before being discharged to the care of his mother. He had sustained a strangulation injury with oxygen deprivation to his brain. Since the incident, the child has struggled with impulsivity, unprovoked aggression, and some loss of balance. Most importantly, his doctors have stated a need for some level of lifelong medical care.
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