A four-month-old infant died on Thursday night after being discovered unconscious inside an East Harlem apartment, according to the NYPD. A spokeswoman for the department said that the person who discovered the infant "provides care for the child," and may have been operating a day care facility out of the apartment. Police sources told Pix11 that the day care may not have been properly licensed.
Police responded to a call of an unconscious infant inside apartment #4H at 1662 Park Avenue near the corner of East 117th Street shortly after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. There they discovered the infant, Ady Seck of East Harlem, unresponsive. EMS transported Seck to Harlem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The boy reportedly had no visible injuries. The medical examiner will determine cause of death.
The address where Seck was found is next door to the offices of Manhattan's Community Board 11. Reached for comment, a member of the CB declined to provide her name, but said that no one in her office had any knowledge of a day care facility on the block.
"There are no storefront day cares on this block that we know of," she said, adding, "That doesn't mean it's not happening inside of an apartment." The only storefronts on the block are a notary, and a tapas restaurant.
Of the nearly 11,300 day care facilities in NYC, only 2,272 of them are licensed by the city. The rest are state-licensed, and are required by law to conspicuously post any violations.
The Mayor's office in May mandated letter grades at city-run day cares, following findings that hundreds of group day care facilities in NYC have consistently failed their annual health and safety inspections without consequence. A group of state senators issued the report [PDF] on day care violations in November, prompted by the tragic death of three-month-old Karl Towndrow on his first day at a SoHo day care last July.
Towndrow's parents, Amber Scorah and Lee Towndrow, have been campaigning for paid parental leave since their son's death. Next week, Scorah plans to deliver a petition with 134,000 signatures to the New York campaign headquarters of both presidential nominees.
Mayor de Blasio announced six weeks of paid parental leave for non-union city workers in December, and Governor Cuomo enacted 12 weeks of partially-paid leave for all workers employed for at least six months in April.