Daycare deaths: 'It was like a pit of sadness would swallow me'

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Heartbroken parents say action at the state Legislature is needed now to prevent senseless deaths inside daycares.

The outcry comes on the heels of two deaths in one Seattle daycare.

Five-month-old Eve Uphold was found dead after being left alone for an hour at the now-shutdown First Nest daycare in the Greenwood area of Seattle late last year. It was ruled Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. But, then Eve's parents found some disturbing news.

"Through our own investigation," Eve's father Kyle testified at a state House hearing, "we later found out this daycare provider had a previous SIDS death in her care 12 years ago."

That's when Andy and Barbara Hazzard lost their baby boy to SIDS at the First Nest daycare.

"It was like an pit of sadness that would open up and swallow me up at any given time," Andy Hazzard testified.

The Hazzards say there was no death review, and nothing was done to alert parents in the future.

"When I first learned of Eve's death I felt a tremendous amount of guilt," testified Barbara Hazzard. "I felt had we done something more perhaps her death had been preventable."

The grieving couples are urging state lawmakers to pass a bill (HB 2165) making death investigations in daycares mandatory.

Eve's mother Amanda Uphold testified, "Every effort must be made to understand what happened in order to prevent the loss of another child and repeating failures of the past."

This isn't the first time daycares have been in the spotlight like this. Seven years ago parents came to Olympia because of dangerous curtain cords.

Michelle and Larry Frank convinced the Legislature to ban blinds with cords in daycares. It was called "Jaclyn's Law."

Now they're taking on the case of Baby Eve.

"Today at daycares, you walk in, there's no violations mandatory be posted. You should walk in and see it right there," says Larry Frank. The Upholds say had they known of the earlier death, they most likely would have gone elsewhere

HB 2165 is scheduled for a vote in the House Committee on Early Learning and Human Services at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 20.