AUSTIN (August 27, 2013)--Following the arrest of a Waco daycare owner, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is urging parents with children enrolled in a daycare to be mindful of who is caring for their kids.
Waco home daycare owner Marian Bergman Fraser, 49, who’s accused of giving an over-the-counter allergy medication to infants in her care, one of whom died of an overdose, was back in the McLennan County Jail last Friday after she was named in eight additional arrest warrants charging child endangerment.
She was released at around noon after posting bonds totaling $40,000
The death of the 4-month-old girl from an overdose of diphenhydramine,” the generic name for the over-the-counter allergy drug Benadryl, was ruled a homicide in a new report last week from the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas.
The infant, Clara Marguerite Felton, died at a local hospital on March 4 after she was found unresponsive and not breathing in her crib at the Spoiled Rotten home daycare center at 1725 Hilltop Dr. in Waco.
Fraser had a sterling history with the Texas Department of Family and Protective services and an even better reputation with the community.
She passed 9 inspections in the past two years according to state records.
But Fraser’s credibility as a daycare owner is now questioned.
"This should be a red flag for every parent in the community,” Texas DFPS spokeswoman Julie Moody said.
"Parents need to take that initiative to see who's taking care of their child and seeing how they're being cared for."
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services now says Fraser’s arrest should be a reminder for parents with children enrolled in a daycare to research and continuously question their child’s welfare.
"Parents have a right to speak with their caregiver and this is a prime example," Moody said.
“You want to ask yourself, ‘would I want to be in this daycare for 8 to 10 hours?’”
They encourage parents to consider the education, experience, and training put forth in their child’s daycare.
They also say to routinely plan unattended visits to a child’s daycare; ensuring a fresh look to see if the daycare is complying with state regulations.
In 2012, there were 35,755 inspections completed at daycares in Texas.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services says to go to TxChildCareSearch.org to review inspection history and or violation records for daycares in Texas.
Fraser, 49, surrendered earlier this month and was charged with injury to a child (causing death) in the death of the infant, who was the granddaughter of McLennan County Judge Scott Felton.
Fraser was freed on $25,000 bond, but then was named in two new warrants that were served on Aug. 12, charging child endangerment involving a 1-year-old and a 7-month-old, both of whom tested positive for the allergy drug diphenhydramine, police said.
She was released from jail after posting additional bonds totaling $6,000.
The affidavits submitted for the two warrants served on Aug. 12 said the parents of the two infants had hair samples taken in July at a lab in Austin and that a lab in Deer Park confirmed the presence of diphenhydramine.
Police think the infants were given the diphenhydramine to ensure that they slept during nap-time.
The parents told investigators that they had never given the drug to their children and had never given anyone else permission to administer it, either.
As many as 10 parents had hair samples tested for diphenhydramine, a source close the investigation said.
An 11th infant wasn’t tested because he was being given Benadryl under a doctor’s direction, the source said.
The daycare, which opened in November 1996, was licensed to care for as many as 12 children, but a review process was underway, a Texas Family and Protective Services spokeswoman said earlier this month.
A lawyer for the Felton family says he will file civil lawsuit in the case after the criminal proceedings are completed.