Tragic Drowning Reminds Us TV Isn't a Babysitter

front doorA story out of Florida serves a heartbreaking and terrifying reminder for all parents of small children that toddlers have to be watched at all times. It happened last Friday afternoon in Lauderdale Lakes. Two-year-old Jona Lilavois was watching TV while her mother reportedly went outside to get some laundry off the line, and her father went to the restroom. They thought she'd be fine there.

At some point, however, Jona lost interest in the show and headed out the front door of the family's home. When her parents saw she was missing, they looked everywhere, then began knocking on neighbors' doors. By the time she was found, it was too late.


According to CBS Miami, rescuers retrieved her body in a nearby canal where she had apparently drowned. After being airlifted to the hospital, she was pronounced dead later that day.

It is absolutely gut wrenching to think of your child sitting there one minute giggling at a cartoon, and the next gone, just like that. But it or a similar tragedy could happen to so many of us.

"Where's Lila Claire?" I repeat to my husband incessantly. Because while at 3, I feel like I can trust her alone a lot more than I could when she was younger, I know that doesn't mean I can trust her much at all.  Still I do go upstairs and put clothes away, or run to the restroom, or other little things while I think she's occupied in front of the TV on occasion.

But I shouldn't because toddlers are just too unpredictable. A show that mesmerizes them one day could quickly bore them another day. A leaf blowing outside a window, could send them on an adventure. You just never where their little minds will take them, and whether you live by a body of water or not, there's plenty of dangerous situations they can get themselves into both inside and out without nearly constant supervision.

This doesn't mean this family should be blamed, of course. Based on the reported facts they deserve nothing but support and sympathy for what appears to be nothing more than a tragic accident. But I think it's a story that should be shared in hopes that it can perhaps help some other lives.

Do you have mechanisms in your home to keep your toddler from wandering out?

Image via kevinmarsh/Flickr



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