Des Moines mother charged in connection to changing table death

Laci Taylor

DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO-TV) — A Des Moines mother is behind bars, after police say her child died on a changing table.

Twenty-six-year-old Laci Taylor was charged with child endangerment resulting in death.

Court documents show Taylor left the room while her baby was on a changing table. The child rolled over with her neck on the ledge of the table, cutting off the airway.

The documents say Taylor was aware that the child was able to roll over.

Police believe that Taylor left her child unattended for over 15 minutes during which time the child died.

Police say these factors are what lead to a child neglect charge.

“This was predictable, so this was preventable. This was just horrible, low-level of parenting that allowed this to happen. There has to be some culpability there for the person that is responsible for that child” said Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek.

Child Safety experts say these kinds of deaths happen far too often.

According to safekids.org unintentional suffocation is the lead cause of injury related deaths among children under one year of age.

“I think it happens a lot more than we know. I think it’s something that we don’t want to think could happen to us or something that could happen to someone we know” said Janna Day, project coordinator for Safe Kids Greater Des Moines.

Day says there are safety measures you can take to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening in your home.

“Often times those pads are equipped with a strap and a buckle, so if your pad is equipped with that make sure you are using it; but then in addition always make sure you are right there within arms reach” said Day.

Day says keeping your child with you is the most important way you can prevent these types of deaths.

“Just a good reminder to always bring that baby with you even if you have to tend to another child or if you have to answer the door; you know what, if the doorbell rings let it stay that way, tend to your baby instead” said Day

Taylor is in the Polk County Jail on a $100,000 fine. Her preliminary hearing has been set for January 20th.