It had been a fun day playing snow outside. When it was time to head back into the house, Joanne Pedlow drew a warm bath and put her two-year-old daughter and seven-moth old son in the tub.
She stepped out of the bathroom for a minute to attend to her guests waiting at the front door, and that was when she heard the chilling screams of her daughter upstairs.
Rushing back upstairs, Joanne found a heartbreaking scene before her. Seven-month-old Alex, who had been in his bath seat was face-first in the belly-deep water with his bottom sticking up out of the bubbles.
READ: Grandfather accidentally drowns toddler
“According to Joanne, the bath seat was secured to the tub with suction cups and the bath water did not reach past the bath seat’s water level marker,” reports said.
When the paramedics arrived, they were unable to find the baby’s pulse. He was then rushed to the hospital where he was put on life support for four days, but never regained consciousness.
Dr. Samuel Lamont, a consultant pediatrician with the Belfast Health Trust, said the toddler suffered a catastrophic brain injury after being submerged in bathwater.
As the doctors removed Alex’s life support, the toddler took three or four small breaths, then died in his mother’s arms.
“He was quite a big child and was quite heavy, I think he had leaned forward and toppled it [the seat] over,” Joanne said
READ: How to give your baby a bath
“This has highlighted the important issue for parents about the dangers posed when a child is left unsupervised for a short period of time and even in the shallowest of water,” said Coroner Suzanne Anderson.
“Hopefully this message will serve to spare the agony this family has had to endure.”
Alex’s mother and his father, Stephen McCartney, donated his liver, both kidneys and his heart to save the lives of other infants.
Bath time reminders
- Bathing your children everyday dries out their skin. Simple wet wipes would suffice, especially if you focus on these key areas: face, neck, and diaper area.
- Whether you give them a bath in the morning or night does not matter; it’s a matter of personal choice. They all have their own benefits: morning baths make for a more fun experience, while night baths help babies sleep better.
- The recommended amount of water in the tub 2 to 3 inches (about 5 to 8 centimeters) of warm water. To keep the baby warm, pour warm water over his or her body throughout the bath.
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