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Had you ever heard of "the wrap"? Do you know anyone who wraps their kids?

Posted by on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:03 AM
  • 47 Replies

Controversial Disciplinary Technique Blamed in 3-Year-Old's Horrific Death

by Kiri Blakeley 

A 3-year-old boy died while being disciplined with a supposedly old-fashioned technique called "the wrap." Little Michael Lee McMullen was reportedly tightly wrapped in six blankets with his arms pinned to his sides. The loose ends were then wrapped around his feet and head and tied into a knot. He suffocated to death. Three adults watching him, including his grandmother, have been arrested.

Grandmother Gale Watkins, who had custody of Michael, and stepfather Douglas Garrigus, and his caregiver, Donella Trainor, have all been charged with aggravated manslaughter. It was reportedly Trainor who wrapped him with as many as six blankets and put the boy down into his crib for a nap -- claiming that this was a well-used technique she had practiced on all of her grandkids.

After Michael was put down for his nap, he repeatedly cried out and was hyperventilating as his grandmother and stepfather checked on him in his crib. When he eventually quieted down, the adults thought he'd gone to sleep. But he was dead.

This unfortunately isn't the first time this sort of "disciplinary technique" has resulted in tragedy. In 2008, an autistic boy in Montreal was reportedly smothered to death at school after a teacher rolled him in a weighed blanket to calm him down. In 2006, a 4-year-old boy suffocated to death after his mother tightly wrapped him in a blanket. In 2001, an adopted girl who was forced into a "rebirthing ceremony" died of asphyxiation while bundled in blankets.

Isn't all of this enough to make it clear that wrapping children is dangerous? While it might seem like a good idea to restrain children who are a danger to themselves and others, that is the sort of thing that should used extremely sparingly, and only by someone who knows EXACTLY what they are doing.

Wrapping, restraining, bundling, etc., can easily lead to problems with blood pressure, circulation, or breathing. BAD IDEA. Not to mention there has to be a psychological toll on a kid who is bound and unable to move.

When it comes to disciplining kids, except in cases of extreme emergency, non-physical actions are the safest and best, in my humble opinion. Not to mention that all three of these adults could clearly see that little Michael was in distress -- and yet did nothing.

Had you ever heard of "the wrap"? Do you know anyone who wraps their kids?

by on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:03 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Rhodin
by Bronze Member on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:04 AM

I've heard of swaddling, but not wrapping older kids in blankets as a punishment.

SrkStrickland
by on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Omg. That makes my heart hurt. Unbelievable

paigea
by on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Wow, I've heard of using weighted blankets or vests to calm children with certain conditions.  But not restrain them.  The weight/pressure is calming to certain children.

I've heard of wrapping a child in ONE blanket and holding them firmly while they calm down.  again - for certain situations. 

I have heard of re-birthing procedures but not how they're are done.

Never heard of wrapping someone in 6 blankets and LEAVING them like that!!!!

How sad.

mrsbrand
by Member on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:11 AM
I've never heard of that but my dd kind of does in on her own. When she gets overwhelmed she'll roll herself up in a soft blanket and lay down in her reading area. I'm sure its no where near as tight as these kids were but I still worry that she may accidentally suffocate herself.
xixCandyxix
by Member on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:23 AM

My former MIL forcefully swaddled my then-infant son to the point that he could not get his arms and legs out. He didn't WANT to get swaddled & she freaked out every time he got himself free. Then I found out she swaddled him like that & gave him cereal in bottle when I went to work at night. It's a wonder she didn't fucking kill my baby.

paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM


Quoting Rhodin:

I've heard of swaddling, but not wrapping older kids in blankets as a punishment.


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annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM
Never heard how awful!
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Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Oct. 25, 2013 at 10:35 AM

throwing up 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Oct. 25, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I've never heard of that. 

Pure abuse.

That poor baby boy.


lga1965
by on Oct. 25, 2013 at 10:43 AM
That's so sick. This is the first I have heard about "wrapping". They need to be jailed. It was murder.
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