Baby Drowns in Bathtub When Dad Leaves the Room to Smoke

Heartbreaking 57

bathtubTalk about timing! There's a big warning from the government today about the risk of babies drowning in the bathtub. And just in case you were thinking about rolling your eyes and laughing it off as Big Brother poking its nose into private parenting matters, the case of a baby who drowned in Chicago just this week should wipe that smirk right off your face.

Police have arrested Jayshaun Strong's dad, Willie Strong, because they say the man left his 8-month-old son in the bathtub with his 2-year-old brother so he could take a smoke break. Because waiting five whole minutes to go suck down a cancer stick would have killed this guy?

When you have kids, the "fun" stuff waits. Their safety always comes first, even when it means you have to suffer a little discomfort.

More from The Stir: 3-Year-Old Drowns in Hot Tub During Birthday Party (VIDEO)

I don't particularly like sitting on the toilet reading -- it's not comfortable -- but I know it took me a long time to leave my daughter alone in the bathtub. She's 7, and I still like to poke my head into the bathroom frequently, and I still won't allow her to close the door. I want to hear the water sloshing around to know she's still moving. I want to hear her singing the little songs she makes up.

Technically she's aged out of the danger zone, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics still leave me cold. They say drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 years old. An average of 87 kids die every year, and more are injured because people weren't careful when their kids were around water.

I know parents who think a few seconds out of the room to grab something isn't going to matter, that they'll make it back before anything bad can happen, but I don't buy it. Seconds count. And the risk is too great.

This little boy is gone, and his brother was in grave danger, and all for what? You can't tell me a cigarette is worth losing your child and facing possible prison time.

Do you leave the kids in the tub? How long are you gone?


Image via mccready/Flickr

baby health, bathtime, safety


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nonmember avatar Emily

My cousin is an ER nurse, and just this morning she came home with a horror story about a nine month old drowning last night, after the mother left the baby alone with the two older children, thinking the baby would be safe. My heart goes out to this mom, she made a bad choice, figuring what are the odds, and now her little baby is gone. In the case of this guy - it makes me sick. Seriously? A cigarette? It could have waited. Poor baby, it makes me sick to even think of it.

curio... curious1145

And the ironic thing is he obviously didn't want to light up by the babies, but a little second-hand smoke would have been a lot better than one of them drowning!

nonmember avatar Shandeigh

Warnings are all well and fine... but you can't fix stupid. No matter how many warning stickers, news stories or laws there are... there is still going be people who don't have the sense God gave sheep.

Doomy234 Doomy234

Oh no no no. I watch small children like a hawk. Even if they arent my own. I dont wanna be the one who "saw it coming" when something tragic happens to a child. I have pulled the neighbor's kid out of the road before because a car was coming and his mother was too busy smoking and talking on the phone to realize her son had wandered into the street. Some people just cant balance watching their kids and doing other activities at the same time. If you're too focused on that cigarette than your own child, maybe you need to think about quitting because at that point its a serious addiction.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I can see using older children as a quick-dash supervision for younger siblings. I used to do that when I was a kid and my younger siblings and I bathed together. The only difference was, I was a hell of a lot older than two, and I was was never left in charge of infants. And we were never out of earshot of our parents, who usually dashed away to answer the phone or grab something they forgot (like a cup to rinse out shampoo). I would never leave a 2-year-old in charge of an 8-month-old. Especially in the bathtub. I wouldn't even leave a 2-year-old alone in the bathtub! Common sense tells me that is a really bad idea.

lalab... lalaboosh

I have a bathroom connected to my bedroom and after a year sometimes I would fold laundry while my daughter was in the bath. I could still see and hear here, though. This father was being a selfish idiot. :(

cdjak cdjak

Oh my God, no. I never, ever, ever left my kids alone in the tub, even for a second, until they were in at least Kindergarten. WHY do we all of a sudden need a government warning about this? It's basic parenting 101, for Heaven's sake! Why, even when I was RIGHT THERE, sitting on the floor in front of the tub, and my grandson was nearly 2 years old, all I did was take my hand off him for a couple of seconds, and he stood up in the tub. Even though there was a slip-proof mat, he STILL slipped and went down too fast for me to catch him before he smacked the side of the tub with his head! Imagine what could happen if you LEAVE! Accidents can happen, but drowning is ALWAYS 110% preventable. Stupid, stupid father. I wonder how many other times he had done the same thing? Except this time it ended in tragedy. People like that should be involuntarily sterilized so that they do not procreate any more!

tyrel... tyrelsmom

You can't leave them for a second at that age. My 9 month old went under the other day. I just turned my head to yell at my 7 year old to get me a towel for her (my arms were still hanging over the side of the tub) and when I turned my head back she was falling over. I got her back up after only a split second under, but it still scared the living daylights out of me. My 3 year old I will leave the room, but not out of view. My 5 and 7 year olds get privacy, but I stay within hearing distance.

Amanda Henning-Smith

My youngest son is going to be in October, and I still don't leave him in the tub alone not even for a second. As far as I'm concerned no child should be left alone at any age under 8. It only takes a inch of water for a child to drown in and I don't want one of my kids drowning because of my decisions or lack there of to ensure their safety. That is why my kids take showers starting at the age of 5 and I make sure there is no standing water in the bottom of the tub while they are showering, and secretely stand outside the door just in case they fall or something. Kids are too precious to make the wrong decisions or to think that one second won't determine their safety. Personally for me that one second is too much time to bargain with so I'de rather be an over protective mother than one that could possibly lose their child. Just my opinion.

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