3-Year-Old's Tragic Drowning Is Why Babysitters Need Rules About Texting & Facebook

poolIt's every mom's worst nightmare. She leaves her child in the care of a babysitter and something happens. Something bad. Whether it's a bump on the head or something much worse, no parent wants to be notified that something happened to their kid on the sitter's watch. Especially if it's something that can't be undone. And especially if it could have easily been avoided.

A 3-year-old girl drowned in a pool recently while a babysitter was supposed to be looking after her. I say "supposed to be" because while the child was playing in the pool, the babysitter was checking Facebook on her phone a few feet away.

Kariasa Thomas, 37, was left in charge of looking after her best friend's four children. The youngest child, Kanyce, didn't know how to swim, but Kariasa let her use the pool anyway. Kariasa reportedly told the girl, who wasn't wearing any flotation devices, to stand on the steps of the pool while her siblings swam. During this time, Thomas proceeded to look at Facebook and play with her pet pit bull for 15 minutes while the kids were in the pool unsupervised. She's been arrested and charged with reckless injury to a child.

If these accusations are true, this is a case in which, well, this woman is a careless moron who should have never been watching a child. But it begs an interesting question for parents who use childcare: Do you have to tell your babysitter to not use their phone?

I, personally, think that being on your smartphone while you're being paid to watch a child is totally unacceptable. If the kid is taking a nap and the sitter wants to peruse Facebook or check their email, fine. But when kids are up and require supervision, absolutely not. Not only is it totally irresponsible, this person is being paid for their services. Lawyers don't sit at their desks, checking Instagram. Waitresses don't send out emails when they're taking people's orders. Getting lost in your phone should be done on your time. Not when you're collecting money from someone else. And especially not when you're watching kids.

It's sad, but I kind of feel like parents really need to reiterate this to people who are going to be watching their children. Stories like this, sadly, are a reminder that a simple message of "Please, no phone while taking care of my child" is in order when leaving our kids with sitters -- even if they're sitters we know and love. It seems obvious, but you never know. Although, not sure it would have made a difference in the case of Kariasa Thomas. Anyone who leaves children who can't swim unattended in a pool needs a lot more than a reminder message.

Thoughts and prayers to Kanyce's family.

Do you remind your sitter to not check their phone?


Image via Don Cornelius/Flickr

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IKnow... IKnow0101

Unfortunately this was not a licensed babysitter it was a family friend who was probably doing the mom a favor so it's hard to make so many demands.  That being said as an adult with young children your eyes should be on the children.  Daily at the pool or playground I see parents/ adults sitting far away from young children (under 6) using their phone or just not paying attention.  Twice at the park I had to grab a toddler from  running into the parking lot while their caregiver was sitting on the other side of the park on their phones.  This is such a heartbreaking tragedy that could have been prevented by just paying attention.

LawNO... LawNOrderMommy

I feel horrible for the mother of these children, not only has she lost a child but now she'll have to help her other children through their grief over the loss of a sibling. Long gone are the days when you could leave your children with a friend and feel confident that they are being well taken care of. Common sense has truly become the most uncommon of virtues. I hope that the woman who failed to adequately care for this child receives the full penalty under the law for her actions. Or should I say inaction.

Craft... CraftyJenna

She should be charged harsher, the child wasn't just injured, she died. It's horrible. 

kelry23 kelry23

So much more to this story, this so called "babysitter" also handed this poor lifeless girl to the cops and said "here"


Jessica Owens Loyd

Agree with Jenna. Charges should be manslaughter. 

Heath... HeatherMQ

This is awful and so sad. My babysitter is required the same rules I use, especially around a pool (though I honestly trust no one with my kids around a pool lol). My children (7, 4 1/2, and 1) are not allowed in a pool without an adult inside with them, yes even my 7 year old. Everyone else thinks I over react with my rule, but my 4 1/2 year old slipped right while standing on the stairs with us right there, could you imagine if we didn't see her? 

rose6572 rose6572

Tragic. charge should be negligent HOMICIDE.

But, it's not just  babysitters.    I see parents do the same thing EVERY time I go to  my apartmennt pool.  I've lived here a year, and have pulled smalled children out at least 3 times.   Thankfully, it's been as soon as they get in trouble and go under, but it's only a matter of time before one of them drowns.   The parents?  Sitting outside the pool messing with their phone,   or leaving  another child to watch little ones.    These are supposedly smart professionals, and its ridiculous how little attention is paid when young kids are in the pool.

My kids are older, and can swim like fish,  but i am STILL at the pool! 


My biggest fear is that I will have to perform  CPR on a child. 


-Midn... -MidnightKarma-

I was actually expecting to open this article and it be a teenage baby sitter not a 37 yr old that should have known better! That poor mother :( 

Tatto... TattooedMAMAto3

I think what makes this worse is the fact this woman was 37 years old.. I would expect this from maybe a teenage babysitter, but a grown woman... COME ON! She should have those maternal instincts that should have told her to at least put floaties on the poor baby girl... this woman is an idiot and deserves the worst penalties possible. That poor mother and her poor other children, I grieve for them. 

nonmember avatar jocelyn

my fiance and i just yesterday canceled our smart phones and got the bottom of the line cheapest most basic prepaid phones. why? because we are not teenagers, we do not need them, we as a society are obsessed, we don't want our children to fall into the social media craze because of us, we don't want them to ever say " look at me" and look up to see our faces in our phones!!!! life is beautiful and nature is extraordinary, the more we go into the internet and rely on technology the more we forgo the wonders right outside and lose the ability to socialize. this lady was 37?!?! and was checking face book? why? to see if anyone liked her status or commented on a selfie?! that's pathetic! there comes a point where we need to wake up and look around, grow up, live in the world around us, not the one on a screen.

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