This Mom’s Tragic Story Shows Just How Dangerous It Can Be to Sleep on Different Floors
Keri Hall Volmert put her 17-month-old daughter, Sammie, to bed on the evening of Feb. 28, 2016. That was the last time she saw her daughter alive. Now, Keri manages a Facebook page to raise awareness among parents about what took her child from her far too soon. Her message is tragic, but so important to share!
Remembering Sammie Joyce Vomert: A Warning to Parents
Kery remembers putting her sweet toddler to bed just like any other night. “I carried her up the stairs and placed her down in her beautiful crib that was made for a princess. She cried a little bit, and I walked out of the room knowing she would be asleep within two minutes as she always was. I never would have imagined that would be the last time I would see her alive. The desperation and screeching panic in my husband’s voice the next morning as he went to retrieve her from upstairs is something I will never forget.” she writes in a public Facebook post.
That morning, her husband found their daughter motionless in her crib and urgently called out to Kery. Attempts to resuscitate her were fruitless, and Sammie was pronounced dead in the emergency room when she arrived 50 minutes later. Doctors learned that she had died from hyperthermia, or overheating.
Kery writes, “Even though our upstairs thermostat was set on 72 degrees, the heater was blasting upstairs and it felt like a sauna. The temperature registered 99 degrees on our thermostat which was as high as it could go (meaning it was over 100 degrees.) Sammie died of hyperthermia. Doctors believe she never woke up or made a sound since children (until age 3 to 5) cannot regulate their own body temperature as older children and adults are able to do.”
Unbeknownst to Kery and her husband, their thermostat had broken; while their floor was set to a comfortable temperature, the floor where Sammie’s room was located was a completely different temperature. There is one saving grace: Sammie’s older brother, Jackson’s life was spared. Kery recalls, “[Jackson] is three years old and had been sleeping in our bedroom downstairs for a year because he claimed monsters were in his room! Doctors said he would have likely died if he had been in his room.”
You can read Kery’s full open letter to parents here:
How to Protect Your Babies and Toddlers from Hyperthermia
Babies and toddlers do not experience temperatures like adults do, so while being in the same room as your young child can give you a pretty good idea, there are other precautions you can take as well.
Watch for signs of heat stroke (1):
- 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, without sweating
- Hot, red, dry skin
- Rapid pulse
- Headache (which may make him irritable)
- Rapid, shallow breathing
If you have the option, have your children sleep on the same level as your own bedroom when they are young. An additional safeguard can be the use of a baby monitor with temperature regulation. Concerned parents can purchase a baby monitor that also measures room temperature- Available on Amazon. This model is a video baby monitor (with bonus car monitor) with temperature monitoring and an alarm, as well as 2-way talkback.
Keep space heaters out of baby’s room and ensure their crib or bed is not close to any radiator.
Babies’ feet can be a good indicator of their overall temperature. Hold their feet with your hands and assess if they feel too cold or too warm, then dress them accordingly. Keep a baby thermometer handy in your home and on the go.
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