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Abusive Swaddling Complaint Filed Against Daycare Worker

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Lida Sharaf, accused of abusing babies at a Livermore day-care center by swaddling them too tightly. Photo: Livermore Police

Lida Sharaf, accused of abusing babies at a Livermore day-care center by swaddling them too tightly. Photo: Livermore Police

Daycare Administrators Charged With Swaddling Abuse

California’s Department of Social Services has closed Universal Preschool LLC in Livermore after the arrest on Wednesday of the daycare’s director Lida Sharaf and licensee Nazila Sharaf.

Livermore police received a tip from a 19-year-old former worker that the sisters used blankets to bind the bodies, hands and feet of at least seven of their 7- to 11-month-old charges. The sisters also left the infants unattended for lengthy periods and placed blankets over the their faces. Respiratory distress resulted.

Although swaddling is a common practice, it is primarily used as a soothing technique with newborns 1 to 2 months old, and consists of a light, snug wrapping that allows them to feel safe enough to sleep.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s office has charged each woman with three counts of felony and four counts of misdemeanor child abuse and neglect.

The sisters also committed other license violations, and Lida Sharaf faces charges for attempting to coerce an inspector to conceal violations.

This crime is not new to Lida. In 2010, Social Services shut down another of her daycare’s, the Discovery Child Development Center, because of restrictive swaddling.

Doctors have confirmed that the infants are in good health.

On The Web:

Livermore police: Preschool owners’ dangerous swaddling put babies at risk
http://www.contracostatimes.com/livermore/ci_23097599/livermore-preschool-owners-arrested-felony-child-abuse-charges

Preschool Owners’ Severe Swaddling left Infants in Hazardous Conditions
http://crimevoice.com/preschool-owners-severe-swaddling-left-infants-in-hazardous-conditions-26445/

Day-care sisters accused of abusive swaddling
http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Day-care-sisters-accused-of-abusive-swaddling-4461132.php#photo-4523475