Child Chokes to Death on Watermelon at Georgia Daycare

A 16-month-old toddler, Jamal Bryant Jr., died after choking on a chunk of watermelon at a Georgia daycare in Brunswick. 

The state shut down the facility following the tragic incident, with the parents, Taylor Hicks and Jamal Bryant, Sr., speaking out. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning was informed of the child’s death on Tuesday. Surveillance video showed three employees talking to one another instead of focusing on the children and not providing proper aid. Instead of performing CPR, the employees patted the child on the back repeatedly.

The daycare was closed by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning because of concerns about the children’s health, safety, and welfare. An earlier inspection had shown that the daycare did not fulfill CPR regulations, which the agency discovered during inspections.

May 28 is the deadline for the daycare to file an appeal with the agency.

There is a petition that has 234 signatures calling for the learning facility to be closed immediately and permanently. The head of Kid’s Nest Learning Center, Manjeet Grant, was arrested and charged with first-degree cruelty to children after an event in March 2022, among other occurrences detailed in the petition. The day after the alleged event, on May 16, the child’s mother applied for a civilian warrant against Grant.

Authorities in Georgia have said that they are looking into the allegations of slapping, which occurred on March 17. 

According to the petition, the facility had 22 inspection reports filed by the agency since January 2022. Jamal Sr. said he wasn’t aware of the problems at the facility and wants other parents to be cautious about where they send their children and to make sure this doesn’t happen to another child again.

Jamal Sr. remembered his son for loving his family and being ‘full of energy.’ 

According to his obituary, Darien Funeral Home is expected to announce the baby’s services.