Sisters get probation in California swaddling abuse case

AP News
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Posted: Jan 06, 2015 8:36 PM

HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — Two Northern California sisters were sentenced Tuesday to probation for endangering the lives of infants at their daycare by binding them too tightly in swaddling blankets.

Lida and Nazila Sharaf were each sentenced to five years of probation and a yearlong child-abuse awareness course. They had each pleaded no contest to one felony count of child abuse.

Nazila Sharaf also was sentenced to 60 days of home detention. She received an additional punishment because she was present at the sisters' day care when it was raided in 2013, the Oakland Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1tH4ZCh ).

Authorities said the women mistreated seven babies between the ages of 7 and 11 months who were enrolled at Universal Preschool in Livermore when they wrapped the infants' torsos and limbs in blankets, secured the coverings with knots, and then left the children that way in an attempt to force them to go to sleep. Mobile infants that old are not supposed to be swaddled, a technique used to calm newborns accustomed to the confines of the womb, and the coverings are never supposed to be so restrictive a child cannot get free.

The California Department of Social Services started investigating the center after a 19-year-old woman who worked there for two weeks and quit reported her concern.

Because of their convictions, both women are forbidden from ever working in child care again.

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Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com