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A three-year-old boy is under observation by doctors after he was strangled by a jump rope Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Lancaster Police Capt. Scott Grant said the incident happened sometime Wednesday afternoon while the boy was playing on a slide on the playground at The Burbee Place daycare, at 830 W. Meeting St.
“A young child had a jump rope and he tied one end to the top of a slide and the other end got around his neck,” Grant said.
“It’s unclear if he was trying to put it around his arm or what, but he went down the slide with that rope and the rope tightened around his neck.”
As the boy began to have trouble breathing, a daycare attendant ran to free him, Grant said.
“The attendant either realized as it was happening or immediately after it happened, went over and came to his aid,” he said.
Two daycare staff members then rushed the child in a personal to the Springs Memorial Hospital emergency room for treatment, which is adjacent to the daycare center.
In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, Grant said the boy was breathing but unresponsive when he arrived at the hospital.
“He was suffering some ill effects and he was then transported to Levine Children’s Hospital (in Charlotte), mostly as a precautionary measure,” Grant said.
The child was still being treated by doctors there Thursday, though his exact condition was unknown, Grant said.
The case is still open and under investigation by the Lancaster Police Department’s Special Operations division, police say.
“We have looked at it and we are continuing to look into it. We have also made contact with every other agency we feel would have an interest in it, everyone who has their part to play in this,” Grant said.
Though the investigation is ongoing, Grant said the incident appears accidental.
“Although there is nothing known to us at this time that suggest this is more than an unfortunate accident,” he said. “We will continue to investigate this matter until we have the clearest picture possible as to what occurred,” he said in the release.
Child care agencies throughout the state are monitored and licensed by the S.C. Department of Social Services, located in Columbia.
DSS spokeswoman Marilyn Matheus confirmed Thursday that her agency is looking into the incident.
“Our agency is investigating and is working with officials who are already involved to learn what exactly happened,” Matheus said. “We are determining ways to continue ensuring the safety of children there.”
According to the DSS website, the agency is responsible for ensuring that child care facilities provide specific health and safety requirements.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416