Police: 3-Year-Old Suffocates In Plastic Bag After Playing With 5-Year-Old Brother

Posted at 10:41 PM, Aug 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-02 22:54:30-04

HASTINGS, Mich. –  Joel Newton of Hastings would have turned 4-years-old on Sept. 1, but his life ended tragically on Tuesday, July 27.

According to a release from Michigan State Police, Newton died by suffocating on a plastic bag that was stuck over his head.

“Shortly after going to bed, Joel was playing with brother, when he tragically placed a plastic baggie over his head.  Unfortunately Joel was unable to remove the baggie, and his brother then alerted their father.  The father immediately began CPR while calling 911,” part of the statement reads.

According to the National Center for Child Death Review, based in Okemos, there were 842 unintentional deaths by way of suffocation in 2000.

Joel died by suffocating in a plastic bag, a death that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission happens an average of 25 times to children across the country each year.

“About 90% of suffocation, from this type of suffocation, is in children under the age of one,” said Dr. Randall Duthler of Metro Health in Wyoming.  “Children are not able to access the degree of their respiratory distress, so the longer they are in the bag, or being suffocated, the longer they are breathing carbon dioxide and less oxygen.  And by the time they realize they are in trouble they may not have enough time to take the bag off.”

The death of Joel has the some in the community of Middleville taking action.  The After Effects Hair Studio wrote the following on the company’s Facebook page:

“Joel David Newton born 9-01-09 passed away unexpectedly yesterday. A cut-a-thon will be held Saturday, August 10 from 9am-12pm to help the family with funeral an medical expenses. We are also taking donations now if you’d like to help the family. Thank you for your support.”