SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- 2-year-old Caroline Thome died on Dec. 16 when she choked on a snack at her day care, WGCL reports.
She would have celebrated her third birthday Sunday.
She was at Primrose School of Sandy Springs North in Georgia, who released the following statement:
"We are heartbroken over the loss of one of our students. she was a joy to everyone who knew her, and we miss her dearly. we have extended our deepest sympathies to her family and loved ones. we continue to fully cooperate with licensing authorities. we will not be commenting further."
Suzanne Darley is a mom and because she wanted to keep her own child safe, she opened a preschool.
“It’s heartbreaking! These parents rely on us to keep children educated, happy and most importantly safe so it struck a nerve. When things like this happen, we have to double down and do better,” Darley said.
Right now, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning has the following food items restricted for kids age three and under: Peanuts, hot dogs, raw carrots, popcorn, fish with bones and grapes.
Darley says the list from the state needs to be more comprehensive – that the choking hazards list should reflect what the CDC recommends.
“Priority number one is [to] make sure our children are safe. They eat several times a day so this should be the first thing we look at; how can we improve our practice? Having meal time serve as an opportunity to learn how we eat and slow things down and have teachers eat family style,” she said.
According to the National Safety Council, choking is one of the leading causes of unintentional death for infants.
“I can’t imagine losing my child and my heart goes out to them if we could do anything to honor her memory it would be to make a change,” Darley said.
What Caroline choked on is currently under investigation.