Carer blamed herself for baby's death

A SUNSHINE Coast carer has told an inquest she considered taking her own life after a baby died while in her care.

Tracey Cross said she had always blamed herself for the infant's death.

The baby's distraught family is searching for answers as to why their five-month-old daughter went to sleep one afternoon and never woke up during her first day at a home-based daycare facility.

Queensland Deputy State Coroner John Lock has been tasked with investigating the death of Indianna Rose Hicks on July 20, 2012, at Little Mountain near Caloundra.

He also will examine the best sleeping practices for children aged three to six months and how similar deaths could be prevented.

Ms Cross told the inquest on Monday she had checked on Indianna several times after she had put her down for a rest and was aware the infant had started to roll.

She said she had been told Indianna liked her arms to be wrapped when being put down to rest otherwise she would not settle.

"The last time I checked on her I realised she had not settled and had wriggled out of her blanket," she said.

"It was completely loose and her arms and legs were free.

"I took her into the lounge room and re-wrapped her again before placing her back in the cot."

Ms Cross said she left Indianna to rest while she prepared the other children, including Indianna's older brother, for the afternoon school run.

She said she put the other children into a car and went back to collect Indianna when she noticed something was terribly wrong.

"She was on her tummy and was facing the side of the cot," she said.

"I knew something was wrong as soon as I had her in my arms.

"I immediately started CPR and also called an ambulance."

Ms Cross said the ambulance eventually arrived and immediately rushed Indianna to hospital.

She said the paramedics told her the baby was still alive.

"I do not believe she was alive when she left my house," she said.

"I was horrified that I could not save her . . . I thought I had done something wrong.

"I always blamed myself for her death and was that traumatised by the event I seriously considered taking my own life."

Indianna's mother Emma Hicks earlier told the inquest she was apprehensive about leaving her with Ms Cross on the morning she died because the baby had seen a doctor earlier that week with a cold and still had a runny nose.

She said she explained to Ms Cross how Indianna liked her arms to be wrapped in her blanket otherwise she would not settle when being put to sleep.

The inquest is expected to conclude tomorrow. 

- APN NEWSDESK


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