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Day care worker who broke baby’s spine first said she was just feeding her, Iowa cops say

Recognizing signs of physical child abuse

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.
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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.

A day care provider in Iowa told cops she was just feeding a baby girl when the infant began gasping for air and stopped breathing, police said.

That isn’t what actually happened, police said.

Police and paramedics rushed to an in-home day care business in Clive, Iowa, after learning the six-month-old baby wasn’t breathing on Aug. 21, police said in a news release on Facebook. The baby was immediately taken to the hospital for emergency treatment, police said.

The day care provider told police that she was feeding the baby when she “started coughing, then stopped breathing, and was only gasping sporadically,” police said.

Police started an investigation with the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Doctors examined the girl and found she had a subdural hemorrhage, which is bleeding on the surface of the brain usually caused by trauma to the head, according to Harvard Medical School.

The doctors also determined the baby had a “compression spinal fracture” in her lower back, police said. A compression fracture is different from a broken arm or leg in that it’s a collapse similar to “the way a paper cup is crushed when you step on it,” according to Harvard.

The baby has been in the hospital since the incident three weeks ago, police said.

On Monday, the day care provider met with a detective and DHS investigator for an interview, police said. That’s when she admitted to shaking the baby, which caused the injuries, police said.

Tina Marie Welch, 55, was charged with felony child endangerment causing serious injury. She’s currently prohibited from caring for children, police said.

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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