Toddler Dies After Choking at Federal Building Day Care Center

"How long did it take for them to realize he was choking?" the toddler's grandmother asked

A toddler died Tuesday after he choked on food he was eating at a day care center inside a federal building in D.C.

Sterling Moore, 3, stopped breathing at the Department of Labor's Child Development Center. His mother works for the department.

According to a day care worker, Sterling choked on a meatball at lunchtime. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

"I'm still in shock," little Sterling's grandmother Cheryl McCarthy said. "I'm angry. I'm very, very angry." 

The day care center issued a statement saying that trained workers performed the Heimlich maneuver and CPR on the child, then he was rushed to a hospital. 

“We are shocked and deeply saddened as we grieve the sudden death of one of our children today. While eating lunch, the child showed difficulty breathing," said Esther Peterson of the Child Development Center. 

"Our trained staff responded immediately to call 911 and perform the Heimlich maneuver and CPR. The child was transported to Children’s Hospital by paramedics and passed away," she continued. "We are devastated by this tragedy, and our hearts and condolences go out to the family during this unimaginable time of grief. We do not know the cause of death at this time, but are fully cooperating with authorities following this tragic loss."

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McCarthy said she wanted more information. 

"I want to know where the teachers were. What were they doing? How long did it take for them to realize he was choking?" she asked.

When asked these questions, the day care center referred to their statement.

The Metropolitan Police Department is aware of the case and are waiting for the medical examiner’s report before they proceed.

The child's parents were too devastated to speak on Tuesday.

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