Fairfield day care operator arrested in death of 4-month-old boy

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Shirleen Allicot has the latest details.

Police have made an arrest in connection with the death of an infant earlier this year at an unlicensed day care in Connecticut.

The March 22 death of 4-month-old Adam Seagull at the facility on Edgewood Road in Fairfield was ruled a homicide after the state medical examiner found high levels of diphenhydramine in the baby's system. And on Wednesday, police arrested the day care operator, 53-year-old Carol Cardillo.

Seagull's death was initially ruled an accident from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but the medical examiner's ruling changed that. Toxicology reports revealed the diphenhydramine, and an autopsy concluded the baby died from acute diphenhydramine intoxication.

Cardillo had reportedly been running the facility at her home for 11 years, and police say she purchased approximately 90 bottles of allergy medication over a three-year period and believe she may have administered it to other children as well.

"She probably just didn't have the knowledge that this type of medication should not be administered to infants, you know, a 4-month-old child," Fairfield police Lieutenant Rob Kalamaras said. "And I think it's important to recognize that there is a family, a new family, that lost a 4-month-old baby and is now suffering the loss of that child, really for the rest of their lives."

Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy says there had been no signs of trauma, and the baby had not been sick.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine drug that should not be administered to children under the age of 2, and should only be administered to children between the age of 2 and 4 years old after consultation with a doctor.

Cardillo is charged with manslaughter, reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor. She was released on $250,000 bond.

Police reminded parents to check a day care's license before deciding to where to send a child.

"It's important to do their homework and make sure that the daycare is licensed through the state of Connecticut," Kalamaras said. "And make sure they're comfortable with the people that they're dropping their children off with on a daily basis."

The daycare was immediately shut down following the child's death.
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