Britney's son Sean rushed to hospital

04/12/2006 at 03:25 AM ET


Update: The Federlines tell People magazine that while the nanny was lifting Sean out of his highchair two Saturdays ago, something snapped in the chair and Sean fell, hitting his head on the ground. A doctor examined the baby the day of the accident and he seemed fine. However, Britney and Kevin were still concerned about bruising on their son’s head, so they took Sean to the emergency room on April 7th. The hospital automatically files reports with DCFS in the case of head injuries and other injuries that can be associated with shaken baby syndrome and other forms of child abuse, just in case. While DCFS visited the Federline home yesterday to complete a report, the case was soon closed. "While there was an automatic report by the hospital to the Department of Children and Family Services, DCFS immediately responded and determined there was no problem and no reason to open a formal investigation…They determined that the parents were not involved in any injury and that nothing improper was done within the home," read a statement from Britney’s lawyer Marty Singer.

Star Magazine is reporting that Britney Spears’ son Sean Preston was taken to the hospital on April 7th. He had fallen out of the high chair a few days earlier and was sleeping a lot, so they brought him to the hospital to have it checked out.  It turned out he had a minor skull fracture (sometimes called a "scalp fracture" in babies), and a blood clot. Two of our sources confirm that this does seem to be the case, despite the tabloid reporting of Star, so we’re posting this under the news category.

The following day, the Department of Children and Family Services began looking into the incident.  L.A. Sheriff’s deputies visited Britney’s Malibu home to investigate a child-abuse claim.  (California law requires that Department of Children and Family Services be notified whenever a baby is brought into the hospital with a serious injury.) TMZ reports that the matter is now closed. They initially said the DCFS had visited on the 8th to finish up reports regarding Sean’s lap ride in February.

The photo used on the cover is NOT from the trip to the hospital.  They were taken back in January when Britney and Sean visited a Hindu temple.

Source: Star Magazine, April 24 issue

Thanks to CBB reader ImAGossip, Tianndria, Pamela, and Jennifer.

With a child this age and any injury, a specialized child abuse medical evaluation is required to determine whether the injury is consistent with the explanation. Considering this would be her second referral in a short period of time, it is very possible that she will be asked to enter into a Voluntary Family Services contract so that the County can monitor the family. Children have also been removed from their parents for less than these two incidents combined.

One of our readers wrote in:
As a former Child Abuse Investigator for Los Angeles County, CA, which is where Malibu lies, I can say that it is not the law for a medical professional to automatically report an injury to an infant. IF Children’s Services was contacted, it is because the medical professional feels that the circumstances are suspicious and indicative of potential child abuse or neglect. It is possible that Brit’s explanation for the incident is not consistent with the injury. Also, the medical professionals may have had significant concern about the delay before seeking treatment.

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joy on

I don’t know what to believe or not to believe anymore. I don’t know how at his age he’d just fall out of a highchair then again no surprise. But I do know that babies can get injured in a blink of an eye so even if she just turned her head for one sec. it is possible that he could of slipped out. But like I said I don’t know whats real from fiction any more.

Christine on

IA with you Joy. Who knows what really happened. He may have gotten injured some other way, who can really trust Star anyway. lol. But since its Britney this thing will be flooded with comments calling her an unfit mother.

It’s funny that nothing was ever mentioned on here last week about Gwyneth PAltrow at a bar drinking Guinness with her husband. But I guess since it wasn’t Britney it’s acceptable. Such a shame.

DJ on

Well, if it is true, she obviously didnt strap him in and probably didnt put the tray on either. She probably just put him in the chair and that was it. Pure negligance!

Sarah CBB Editor on

Christine, there was a large post on Gwyneth and her drinking last week. Guess you missed it. Here it is, if you want to read it over:

I’m surprised Britney didn’t make a statement about this to People, since that seems to be her main media outlet.

TMZ reports that the case is now closed. I’ll update Danielle’s post.

starlight_perfume on

How does a 7 month old fall out of a high chair? He probably can’t even stand up. Of course she didn’t buckle him up. In almost all the pictures of him in the grocery cart infant seat and pictures of him in his stroller he is never buckled up.

Candice on

Accidents happen. Really, who’s kid hasn’t hit their head once or twice? Even the best mother in the world can’t protect her baby from the occasional bump or bruise…Or skull fracture, I guess.

I’m not even a fan of Brit’s, and I’m not denying that’s she made some serious judgement errors, but let’s not get too crazy with the whole “She’s a horrible mother! She’s neglecting her child!” bit. None of us have the slightest clue as to what actually happened. Obviously, driving with your 6 month old on your lap is a bad idea, but we can’t say that she’s done anything else that warrants an attack on her mothering skills. She’s a young mom. She’s still learning. Let’s not start bashing her just yet.

Just my little opinion, of course.

Christine on

thanks for the link sarah. My work computer and my home computer must be screwed up. sometimes I can’t view topics here that I can there. who knows!! lol

I’m waiting for a statement from Brit before judging anyone, i’m sure she’ll have one soon

BabyBliss on

Without knowing what really happened (who can trust Star?) I’d hate to pass judgement on Britney so quickly.

Everyone seems to love to pick on her these days. I’m not defending the car seat incident either, I’m just saying that everyone seems to slaughter her for everything she does or doesn’t do. But when Gwyneth Paltrow drinks a Guiness beer while pregnant we all say, “Good for her!”

So all I will say is that as a parent I know that there is no worse feeling than when your child is hurt. I hope little Sean is ok! He’s the cutest little boy!

starlight_perfume on

I wasn’t trying to bash her. I was just stating a fact that if you look at pics of Sean in his stroller he is never buckled in. With that I can only assume she doesn’t buckle him into his high chair either.

Mrs. McGraw on

Sure a child hurts him/her self in a blink of an eye. Children fall down entire flights of stairs, fall out of their bed, off the couch, off the high chair, etc. But I’ve NEVER heard of a child having a simple accident and cracking his head. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t crack that easily. I don’t think I believe the story, though either.

lindenen on

“But when Gwyneth Paltrow drinks a Guiness beer while pregnant we all say, “Good for her!””

I think that’s because it’s supposed to be good for the baby at the end of the pregnancy to drink Guiness.

Christine on

lindenen – I don’t think that drinking guinness is good for the baby, or there wouldn’t be a warning on the side of the bottle that pregnant women shouldn’t drink, but apparently some doctors say it’s ok. I know mine certainly didn’t and even if she had I wouldn’t have anyway. But what do i know, i’m just a 24 year old mom just like Brit!

joy on

well I guess Gwyneth was drinking cause she wanted to induce labor! but that’s another topic.

Britney does make poor judgement as we’ve seen but let’s all just hope that Sean P is okay and that hopefully something like this will be prevented next time.

Layla's Mommy on

I believe that she most likely didn’t strap him in, but I wouldn’t call it neglect. I am not afraid to admit that Layla has rolled off the couch three times and she is only 6 months old. All three times Me or my hubby were sitting right next to her and just turned to grab something. Luckily the couch is low to the floor and it was more of a scare for us all than really serious.
I don’t like Britney. I think she is irresponsible and to immature to be a mother and she is older than I am (I am only 23). I don’t think she abuses Sean or neglects him (except for the car seat incident). Accidents happen to all of us. I just hope that Sean will be okay and that after this she will realize that she needs to keep a better eye on him and take the proper safety precautions.

spindoctor on

A skull fracture can be easy to miss. It’s not always obvious that something serious has happened. My neighbor recently took her daughter to a regular check-up and the doctor found a hematoma and later tests revealed a skull fracture. They have no idea how it happened. She fell out of a chair at the airport a few months ago and that’s all they could think of. It’s terrible and they feel absolutely horrible as any parent would.

rachel on

Star seems to think celebrities lives are like soap operas…just check out the headlines, everything is “OH MY GOD! EVERYONE FREAK OUT!”.

I don’t like Star. Much like I dislike a large number of celebrity tabloids.

plantain on

yet you take the time to post on a blog called ‘celebrity-babies”
we all seem to ‘hate’ these tabloids yet we all seem so fascinated by the lives and offspring of the famous….
not claiming that i’m above it all.. iget sucked in too

GrietjeV on

IF, this is a true story and that’s a big IF, the thing that concerns me most is that she KNEW he fell out of the highchair and waited so many days to take him to the hospital. Call me overreactive, but I would have either called 911 if he was crying a lot and seemed really hurt or I would have driven him to the ER to be absolutely sure there was nothing seriously wrong. I’ve read a few statements (on several websites) that the doctor/nurses said that skull fractures happen all the time and it’s no big deal, but I don’t believe that statement at all. A skull fracture and/or a hematoma IS a big deal, especially if it’s a baby in question. Excessive sleepiness after any head trauma is NOT a good sign. Most doctors would have admitted him for observation (I have a lot of doctor and nurse friends) and that’s a fact.

Christine on

for what it’s worth, tonight on Access Hollywood, they stated that Sean was in the care of his nanny when the incident happened and that he slipped and fell when the nanny went to take him out of the chair and the highchair broke.

joy on

well I agree accidents do happen even when were right there.

My nephew was being watched by his other grandmother and while she was ironing she bent over to pick up some more clothes, hit the board, iron fell and my nephew being only 2 thought he’d help by picking it up for her! Ended up w. first degree burns.

The little girl I babysit for has falling off the bed many times while her parents were in it with her! Luckily nothing happened.

I know a kid who had a broken foot for weeks before the family realized something might be wrong. Took him to the doctor turns out he had a fractured foot! They too had no idea but felt terrible.

so unfortunate things do happen while children are right there in our care.

Even I have had those careless moments where I think to myself thank god your not a parent! But it’s not me being abusive or neglective it’s just being caught up in a moment or not fully paying attention. It’s amazing how FAST things can happen in a blink of an eye.

Let’s just hope as parents/caretakers we can do better job at protecting these children from more SERIOUS danger.

gargoylegurl on

I totally agree with Joy’s comment. I had a similar incident when my son was 2 1/2. He was jumping on his bed & fell off, it happened so quickly. Anyway, it was 2 weeks before I realized he had broken his collar bone! I felt like the worst mom in the world for missing it, but the doctor reassured me that many injuries in small children are often hard to detect.

I have noticed that since Brit became a mom she does seem to be living under a microscope and her every move as a mother is judged, but then again, she does court the media and so some of it is her fault, in my opinion, anyway…8)

Also, I’m from England origionally and I can tell you that it is “normal” & often recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers to drink Guniness. I know that may seem bad, and maybe it is, I guess it’s just a cutural difference. From what I’ve read, Chris and Gwen spend a lot of time in the UK, so I suppose it’s only natural that she’s going to do “English” things sometimes…8)

shseagle2005 on

This is the second time Britney has been investigated by DCFS,In how many months?! When is she gonna figure it out?

As a FTM my lil’ girl has taken her fair share of spills, I can’t deny that accidents happen but the amount of force required to fracture a skull (or any other bone) pretty much rules out the “slipped out of his highchair” story, Jeez louise!

starlight_perfume on

People magazine says the nanny dropped him and he only got a bruised head. Read the whole story at,19736,1182561,00.html

ErinH729 on

According to the reports, Sean was checked by a doctor and nothing found to be wrong. I’m not a fan of britney as a whole but… it was an accident. At his age, he is probably beginning to get mobile. My son was born in September and by April he was crawling and pulling up on things — so much so that he was able to pull up on the spare room bed and grab my Nikon 35MM camera strap and pull it down on himself — breaking the flash on his face and giving himself a black eye. Negligent? I don’t think so… I was right there in the room with him — just didn’t see him do it and never thought in a million years that he could pull up that far! Wait til they get older! My youngest tripped on an untied shoelace and broke his elbow when he was almost 3. Apparently, by some of the standards here — I’m negligent in that case too?! The poor girl is under a microscope… that can’t be easy for anyone.

bnt1 on

When my brother was about 7 months old–before he could walk, but when he was able to pull himself up–he fell out of his high chair and hit his head. What was the diagnosis when he was taken to the ER? A fractured skull. So, though I can’t say for sure that that is what happened to Sean Preston, I’ve had enough of people saying there’s no way that a tumble from his chair could cause that kind of damage. I know for a fact that it can, and has, happened.

Raye on

I think it is horrible for anyone to assume Britney is a bad mother. Think about how offended and upset you would be is someone who didn’t know you at all called you a bad parent, or negligent because your child had an accident. I’m not a mother, but from what I’ve heard, kids get hurt all the time. There is no proof that this was Britney’s fault, or that she didn’t do everything she could in light of the situation. I know if someone had of called my mum a bad mother when I was a kid, knowing how accident-prone myself and my brother are, they would have been very wrong. I know everyone here has the right to an opinion, but judging someone’s mothering skills when you don’t know them is a little unfair.

DJ on

Britney is a first time monther, and a young one at that. It is very unfair to just assume that she is a bad mother just because she is young and because of who she is. However, she doesn’t have the greatest track record. Kids do get hurt all of the time, true, and that is why it is important to watch them all of the time. They can get hurt in the blink of an eye. You have to be really careful. Apparently the nanny was in charge this time, which gets Britney “off the hook” this time, but she still needs to make better choices.

cherylina on

I think Britney is blaming her nanny for the incident, if anything, she would have named the exact piece that broke from the highchair instead of “some piece” LOL it was probably k-fed
If my kid fell out of a high chair, I’m sure it wouldnt make front page and I sure as heck wouldnt have waited 6 days. Doctor or no doctor, if I feel something is wrong with my child, it would be the hospital pronto- no harm in a second opinion.

tink1217 on

finally able to go online again!!! I just heard about this Britney/Sean falling thing and it really sounds like a simple kid accident. My DD was about 7months old when she actually fell into our coffee table, head first, and came up with a baseball sized knot on her head immediately. I freaked and called 911. They were like, “Just keep an eye on her, make sure she doesn’t start vomiting or falling asleep and not waking up easily.” They didn’t even say I should take her to the hospital. Kids have accidents. It doesn’t always mean neglect or abuse.

agtdonut on

According to the Federlines, “The hospital automatically files reports with DCFS in the case of head injuries and other injuries that can be associated with shaken baby syndrome and other forms of child abuse, just in case.”

This is the part I find fishy. If it happens so often that babies accidently get hurt and it’s standard to send DCFS for a head injury, why haven’t they visited the multitude of other families in this same predicament. Why didn’t they come to my sister’s house when an older child running into the room accidently kicked my baby nephew in the head while he was laying on the floor playing? It was only an accident too. My nephew was immediately taken to the hospital, had a CAT scan and was put under observation. No one from DCFS ever visited them. I hardly think our social services are so vast that they can send DCFS to homes routinely everytime a baby falls out of his high chair. Maybe Britney should have tried taking care of a plant first.

agtdonut on

And something else fishy too…If you bought a high chair that legitimately “broke” on its own, wouldn’t you say what kind it was? If it was all the high chair’s fault and the magical broken piece, why didn’t they get any more specific about what high chair it was and specifically what part broke? If this happened to you wouldn’t you expose the manufacturer for making dangerous products that break without warning. If an item spontaneously broke and caused injury to your own child and poses a possible danger to other children, don’t you have a responsibility to warn others in case a recall is needed? Point being, I don’t think the high chair broke. For if it did, we would be hearing more information on the chair of death itself. I have to quote Judge Milian (People Court Rules!) “You can’t even season the lie enough for me to swallow it.”

krewcat on

OK, I have to say…things do happen…I’m a mom of 3 and there have been many times that I have had to take my kids to the hospital because of things that have happened. I was once invetigated by DCFS. In that instance my middle daughter was 15 months old and my dh held her hands and was just swinging her in a circle one time in a hotel room( we were out of town at hte time). Her bone in her arm slipped out…she couldnt hold anything with her arm so we took her to the hospital. Well about 10 days before hand I had fallen and had dislocated my elbow and twisted my leg and knee so I was walking with a cane in a sling and here we are at the ER. We were instantly the talk of the place…I’m guessing they thought my dh was abusive when nothing could be further from the truth. They popped my dd bone back into place, showed us how to do it, explained it happens ALL the time and is quiet commen. BUT they also sent a report to DCFS in our hometown and they showed up at our door 3 days later. Of course they couldnt find anything but a family of 5 in a clean house, well behaved children etc etc etc.

The point is things aren’t always what they seem. Things do happen. I can completly understand how a fall from a high chair can injure. When I was 6 months old I was in a pumpkin seat (kinda like a carrier) and my grandma had me on the kitchen table and I wiggled out and cracked my head. Of course my mom was investigated for it and they found nothing wrong…my mom wasnt even the one who did anything wrong.

Ok enough with the book. I just feel like she is overanalized and treated so harshly sometimes. I do not think that she is a young mom…17,18,19 is young to me not a married women of 23,24 who has seen so much of the world and been involved in so much since she was 16…it does make you older than you are.

jsut my 2 cents of course..:)

Kat_Momof3 on

I think in this one, she did everything right… it said that something malfunctioned in the highchair… that can happen.

Kids do fall and get hurt.

She was worried, so she took him to the hospital to be sure.

Did anyone notice in that bottom pic from PEOPLE, she looked pregnant?

I do think she needs to make sure that the highchair she uses is sturdy and repaired… and that her nanny is more careful… or how about feeding the baby herself?

I know that Britney means well… she’s just young and stupid a lot of times (driving with baby on lap… front facing baby so early), but this one is just not anyone’s fault.

I do agree that it needed investigated… things like this should always be checked out… but I don’t think it was anyone’s fault.

Sarah CBB Editor on

Re: The DCFS getting involved. Different states have different rules. For example, where I live in New Hampshire, you are mandated to report if there is any reason to suspect abuse or neglect. All the hospitals are required, all agencies, all citizens. Of course, that’s why our Child and Family Services is so backed up as well! I intern at an early intervention center, and my boss even had to send in a report about a family with a newborn who didn’t have heat for three nights – we’re required to because it could possibly be considered neglect (even though the parents had nowhere else to go). Not all states are mandated, for some reason. If you live in a state that’s not, your hospital may not have to report it.

dawn on

Also re: DCFS. I’m a child protective service worker myself. As Sarah stated, most states have laws that require professionals to report suspected abuse and/or neglect. I know that if I personally saw a baby who may have a head injury and mom said, “His high chair broke and he fell and hit his head”, I’d be suspicious as well. You have to understand that doctors, like cps workers, probably hear the most outlandish scenerios ever. So yes, many doctors are mandated. Simply because a report is made doesn’t mean that Britney is a horrible mom or anything. It means someone had a concern and DCFS looked into it. Personally, I would rather have a thousand investigations where nothing is going on, than one investigation where a child is in danger of dying.

dawn on

Ack! Didn’t get to finish my comment! In regards to this: “Considering this would be her second referral in a short period of time, it is very possible that she will be asked to enter into a Voluntary Family Services contract so that the County can monitor the family. Children have also been removed from their parents for less than these two incidents combined.” I have NEVER removed a child because he fell out of a high chair or mom didn’t use a car seat. Children are removed because they are in danger of being seriously injured, neglected, or dying. It’s these falsehoods that perpetrate the myth that DCFS (CPS where I’m at) just walk around taking people’s kids on a whim. Would I suggest that Britney take a parenting class? Um…yeah. I plan on taking parenting classes when I start my family! As I tell people all the time…”It can’t hurt!”