A Fairfield woman, who police said was running unlicensed daycare, was arrested in connection with the death of a 4-month-old baby.
Carol Cardillo, 53, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, second-degree reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.
The arrest of Cardillo comes after the death of an infant on March 22. Police said the child was in the care of Cardillo at 63 Edgewood Rd. when police said the infant stopped breathing and became unresponsive.
"As the investigation went on, our detectives learned part of the apparent ritual or at times during the day, children or at least this child may have been given Benadryl for whatever reason," Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said.
The infant was rushed to Vincent’s Medical Center where police said the child died a short time later.
During their investigation, police determined that Cardillo gave the little boy Benadryl at daycare, which ended up killing him. Investigators first thought the baby boy died from SIDS. But later ruled, he had Benadryl in his system and police said they have plenty of evidence to prove it.
The medical examiner determined the infant's cause of death acute diphenhydramine intoxication, and the manner of death as homicide.
Police said diphenhydramine "is an antihistamine drug that should not be administered to children under the age of 2." They added that it "should only be administered to children between the age of 2 and 4 years old after consultation with a doctor."
MacNamara said whether the Benadryl was used to get the child to calm down or to go to sleep, he believes it was done often.
"Our investigation revealed that the operator of this daycare purchased a significant amount of Benadryl, over 50 to 100 bottles over a period of time, more than what would be utilized for any personal consumption," MacNamara said.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, any kind of over the counter cough and cold medicine, should not be given to children under the age of two. The FDA cited a number of side effects, including convulsions, rapid heart rates and decreased levels of consciousness, or like in this case, death.
Cardillo was released on a $250,000 bond. She is expected to be arraigned at Bridgeport Superior court on Sept. 15.
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