School aide banned after boy chokes to death

A court in Brittany has handed a nursery assistant a suspended six-month prison sentence after a toddler ,aged two years and nine months, who was in her care choked to death on a sweet. The sweets were labelled for children over-3 only.

School aide banned after boy chokes to death
A nursery assistant in Brittany was given a suspended six-month sentence and banned for life after a two-year-old boy choked on a sweet. A 'chamallow' sweet. Photo: S. Ramella/C. Ferrera

The court at Saint-Brieux, western France sentenced the female nursery school assistant on Thursday to a suspended six-month sentence for manslaughter and banned her for life from practising her profession.

The court heard how on August 6th, 2012, the defendant gave two-year-old Christopher half a ‘chamallow’ sweet at the nursery in Plaintel, in the Côtes-d’Armor department of Brittany.

The toddler then wandered off and played on a nearby trampoline, before collapsing after having choked on the sweet.

Neither the nursery assistant or, later, emergency services were able to revive Christopher, who died of asphyxiation.

“For us, it’s her fault that our child is dead,” Christopher’s mother Viviane Herlem told French TV TF1 on Friday.

“He was under her care, she should have been keeping an eye on him. She should have been by his side, and she had no right to give him a sweet – we had already forbidden her to give him sweets,” she added.

The ‘chamallow’ brand of marshmallow is restricted to children over the age of three, according to instructions on the side of the packet.

Christopher was aged two years and nine months at the time.

Prosecutors in the case had demanded a nine-month sentence for the nursery assistant, but the court reduced it to a suspended six-month sentence, while upholding the lifetime ban on working as a nursery assistant.

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Coronavirus found in Oslo kindergarten and care home

A kindergarten and an elderly care home in Oslo have shut down sections and quarantined staff after discovering coronavirus infections, in a further reminder that the pandemic is not yet over in Norway.

Coronavirus found in Oslo kindergarten and care home
The Kværnerdalen kindergarten has sent home all pupils and staff from its Kumlokket unit. Photo: Oslo Municipality
The Furuset care home in Oslo closed off several units to visitors on Wednesday after three staff and one resident tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, the Kværnerdalen kindergarten has sent home all children and staff from one of its sections after one person tested positive. 
Henrik Mevold, director of community relations at Oslo's elderly care department, said that the municipality was still working on testing everyone who could have come into contact with the infected. 
“We detected that an employee was infected there on Monday, and have continued to work on infection tracking. Over the past few days we have discovered two more employees and one resident infected,” he said. 
Meanwhile the municipality has sent a written message to parents and staff at the kindergarten, saying that everyone connected to its 'Kumlokket' section will be asked to go into quarantine for ten days. 
“The kindergarten has in collaboration with the municipality's consultant doctor made an assessment of who may have been in close contact with the infected,” the message reads. “This applies only to the children in Kumlokket and a few employees associated with this unit.” 
The two infections follow small outbreaks last week in the Oslo suburbs of Sondre Nordstrand and Alna.