Jewish Baby Dies in Steamy Bathroom

From VIN News:

NYPD Detectives are investigating the death of a one-year-old Orthodox-Jewish baby, who died after being found unconscious in the family’s Kensington home.

According to The Daily News, the boy, who has been identified as Mordechai Halperin, had woken up coughing Thursday at 3:30 AM and after a bottle failed to soothe him, his father took him to the bathroom hoping that the steam from a hot shower would alleviate his cough.

Police said that the father strapped the child into his stroller and wheeled him into the bathroom, and left him there unattended for an unknown amount of time.

The baby was discovered, unresponsive, in his stroller in the bathroom at approximately 5 AM.  The parents of the baby called Hatzolah who transported him to Maimonides Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 5:49 AM.

The baby’s body temperature reportedly measured 108 degrees at the time of his death.

The medical examiner has been called in to do an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, but according to sources, police believe that the father did not intend to harm his son.


  • 4. Oh God wrote:

    My heart goes out to the family of the little guy.
    And why on earth would you ever leave a baby unnatended?! Especially in a hot steamy room…..MY GOD.

    • 5. Dina wrote:

      Do you watch your children sleep ? The father obviously didn’t think it was dangerous. The child was congested and wanted to help him sleep.

    • 6. Milhouse wrote:

      People leave babies unattended all the time. It’s completely normal and appropriate; no normal baby needs someone watching it 24/7. So long as there’s a responsible person at home in case there’s an emergency, what’s the problem?

      and what’s dangerous about a hot or steamy room? Why would anyone suspect harm could come from it? I see no indication in the story that the baby’s death had anything to do with where he was. It seems obvious that he was very ill but his symptoms didn’t indicate the seriousness of the situation, so his father tried a common home remedy rather than taking him straight to a doctor. Would you have decided differently?

    • 7. BD"E wrote:

      Please don’t be so quick to judge. It’s very common to secure a child in a stroller for a nap. Look at any park , mall and in many homes.
      It’s very common to take a child into a steamy bathroom when he has a croupy cough
      Unfortunately this devastated father did both at the same time in the middle of the night and probably fell asleep himself.
      The biggest tragedy is the autopsy. The police don’t suspect Foul Play. But the child is under 24 months and there is nothing we can do to stop the physical autopsy which is a total desecration R”L.
      My prayers go out to the child’s family.

    • 8. busy bubby wrote:

      It is extremely sad but most people who try that remedy stay with the baby to make sure that the baby’s breathing is improving. Maybe this father was exhausted from being up due to slichos as well as from the sick baby. Maybe he put the baby in there and fell back asleep. It is a horrible tragedy and we can’t judge but it can serve as a lesson to all of us that if we use steam for croup, we must remain in the bathroom with the baby. Croup is dangerous and so is steam if it is used for too long.

  • 9. police believe that the father did not intend to harm his son wrote:

    why would they even think so for a second
    why does the media need to post a name
    the family is going through enough without people needing to satiate their appetite for other people affairs

  • 10. Croup? wrote:

    If it was croup that the kid had, the father thought the stream would alleviate the breathing issue. The possible benefit would be to be in stream for a minute or two and then go outside (if cool and less humid) and the swelling around the airway may go down a bit=easier breathing temporarily. Prednisone/steroids would help long term but takes time to work (hours).
    I give my patients steroids, as well as saline to put in nebulizer as salt has shown benefit for swelling. Shower is good if you don’t have anything else and it is not severe (every breath is labored or worsening with time).
    I hope this never happens again to anyone else. BDE

  • 11. BDE wrote:

    How will the family survive this tragedy?

    But it highlights the need for parental supervision and common sense; this tragedy is up there with forgetting kids in cars. Just too terrible.

  • 12. so sad wrote:

    The father is probably young, inexperienced and only thought the baby would sleep better, We leave babies “unattended” in their rooms all night long. Such a tragic mistake that this father will live with forever. On slichos night yet- may this family find comfort among the mourners of Tzion

  • 14. The kangeroo wrote:

    #6 i hope that nobody entrusted babys in your care! If they do, after reading your idiotic logic they should be prosecuted.

  • 16. Obviously you're a very busy bubby wrote:

    Or you would know that slichuis only started last night and this happened on Thursday

    • 17. busy bubby wrote:

      you are correct that I didn’t know that this happened on Thursday but then my defense of him somewhat falls apart. Sick children in the middle of the night exhaust parents but that is part of parenthood. My own children have made middle of the night ER visits for that very reason; croup that would not let up.

  • 19. to Milhouse wrote:

    1. Of course this was a terrible, unintended tragedy by a father who thought he was helping his child.

    2. Hot steam rooms can be VERY dangerous (as is evidenced by the child’s high temp). Please don’t leave your child unattended in a hot steamy room. Even an older child.

    May we have moshiach NOW with VHeikitzu Vraninu Shochnei Offor!

  • 20. oren wrote:

    a hot steamy room with a congested baby……the baby would need supervision to help in case he had too much mucus dripping down the throat.
    it could have been a fever too, but although I’m sure that the father meant well, it is important to be near a baby when they aren’t well.
    it is so incredibly tragic, my heart goes out to the family, they should be comforted by HaShem. AD MOSSAI

  • 21. cnl wrote:

    May Hashem comfort the parents. I feel so bad for them. The father meant well but the bottom line is that its Gods world.


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