Installing hidden security cameras in your home can be a bulwark against any number of hazardous domestic situations, especially if you leave your home unattended or your children with relative strangers. Thankfully, for this Laurel Hill, N.Y. mother, she had nanny cameras installed and was able to catch her babysitter in a negligent act before she got a chance to really hurt the child she was supposed to be watching over.
The nanny, Anneliese Brucato, 48, was taking care of a 4-month-old girl while the girl’s mother, Cynthia Schafer, 33, was away at work. Schafer knew that even though the nanny checked out and had a crystal clear record on paper, she still might not to do what is best for the child.
“I checked all her references. There were no problems. She had no criminal history or anything,” Schafer said.
To make sure that the child was properly treated, the mother installed hidden IP cameras to keep an eye on the nanny while she was away. For those of us who are not nanny camera experts or enthusiasts, IP cameras are Internet-connected cameras that transfer live footage over the web to provide real-time video feeds to any computer with an Internet connection. The feeds from these cameras are even able to be viewed on smartphones with web browsing capabilities. To ensure that she could legally record Brucato, Schafer told the nanny that there were hidden cameras installed in the house, but did not say where they were or how they worked.
Everything seemed to be going well until the mother started noticing that her 4-month-old daughter was restless at night when she returned from work. Getting anxious about her daughter’s health, Schafer took the infant to the doctor, who said that the child was restless as a result of oversleeping during the day. This prompted the worried mother to check up on the surveillance feeds more intently to see why her daughter was sleeping so much, and what the nanny was doing.
What Schafer found shocked her beyond belief: the nanny was giving her daughter drugs that would make the her sleepy during the day in the hopes of making the babysitting job easier. The discovery happened when the mother remotely logged into the video feed from one of her four hidden cameras and saw Brucato pull a bottle out of her pocket and give the 4-month-old five doses of a clear liquid.
Horrified at what she had just witnessed, the mother quickly called the nanny and demanded to know what she had done. Brucato insisted that she was simply wiping the infant’s mouth. Schafer then rushed home and demanded to see what the nanny fed the child, threatening to call the police.
This was when Brucato took out a generic version of Benadryl, a Rite-Aid-brand children’s antihistamine used to fight allergies, the common cold, and are known to cause drowsiness. This medication also clearly states that it is not to be given to anyone under 4 years old, and in severe cases can cause seizures or death in young children.
Outraged that the nanny was needlessly putting her baby girl in danger, the concerned mother fired Brucato on the spot and called the police. When the officers located Brucato, they questioned her about her motives, which was simply:
“I gave it to her to calm her down.”
Brucato, who has worked for more than a decade taking care of children, was charged with assault in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child, to which she pled not guilty. Even though the nanny’s motives weren’t necessarily malicious, she was still placing the child in danger, and the mother was fortunate to find this out before her daughter got seriously hurt.
The sad truth, however, is that most parents aren’t as technologically savvy as Schafer, and wouldn’t even know where to start if they were planning to install hidden nanny cameras in their homes. Luckily for those parents, they’re reading this post from a safety and security company capable of pointing them in the right direction when looking for hidden IP cameras.
Some of the cameras that we would recommend in a case like this, where the cameras are required to be hidden and Internet-enabled, are the iSpy Hidden Camera Clock, the WiFi Smoke Detector Camera, or the Secure IP Remote View Camera Hidden in SpongeBob.