Coronial inquest into daycare death of Sunshine Coast baby

UPDATE: A CORONIAL inquest is being held on Monday into the death of a Sunshine Coast baby who went to sleep and never woke up while at a daycare facility.

The inquest will examine the circumstances leading up to the death, 'best sleep practices' with respect to infants in the age group of three to six months and  if there are ways to prevent a similar death from occurring in the future.


Five-month-old in daycare went to sleep but never woke up

A SUNSHINE Coast family is searching for answers as to why their five-month-old daughter who was in the care of a daycare facility went to sleep one afternoon and never woke up.

Queensland Deputy State Coroner John Lock has been tasked with finding those answers and determining the circumstances surrounding the death of Indianna Rose Hicks on the afternoon of July 20, 2012, at Caloundra.

Counsel assisting Emma Cooper told the Brisbane Coroners Court on in September, Indianna was being cared for at a home-based daycare faculty that was being run from a house at Caloundra.

She said the approved child care provider Tracey Cross, who was looking after Indianna at the time of her death, was part of the Sunshine Coast Family Daycare Scheme which was established by the Our Lady of the Rosary Church.

"Indianna's mum dropped her off at Ms Cross's home about 9.30am on the day of her death," she said.

"She provided the carer with a pre-packed bottle of formula which Indianna received around lunchtime without incident.

"At around 1pm Ms Cross placed Indianna into a cot in a room near the kitchen for her afternoon sleep."

Ms Cooper said the carer checked on Indianna several times over the next hour or so.

She said Ms Cross did not realise something was amiss until between 2.15pm and 2.30pm when she went to go check on her again.

"The carer noticed she was laying face down in the cot and was extremely pale and unresponsive," she said.

"She commenced CPR on the infant and called the ambulance.

"Ambulance officers continued CPR and Indianna was taken to Caloundra Hospital.

"She did not respond to any CPR attempts and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital."

Ms Cooper said a subsequent police investigation concluded the infant's death was not suspicious, there were no signs of negligence and no one had been charged with her death.

"The parents raised concerns about whether if an electronic baby monitor had been placed in the room it would have alerted the carer to Indianna's decline sooner," she said.

"That is one aspect that this inquest will investigate and determine whether electronic baby monitors should be made mandatory in family daycare facilities.

"The inquest will also investigate the best sleeping practices of infants aged up to a year old."

Ms Cooper said Indianna's parents, as well as Tracey Cross, would be called to give evidence at the inquest.

A three-day hearing was set down for between November 3 and 5. - APN Newsdesk.


An earlier version of this story stated SIDS was not being investigated as a cause of the youngster's death. That was incorrect.

Counsel assisting Emma Cooper told the Brisbane Coroners Court this week that a medical expert, who will give evidence at the inquest in November, concluded that Indianna Rose Hicks had died of sudden infant death syndrome - SIDS.