Father of 10-month-old who nearly drowned explains, “It’s my fault; I was distracted”

The father of the 10-month-old toddler who nearly drowned during her bath on February 15 explained that he was distracted by his other daughter and younger brother for a few minutes before finding his daughter.

The father, a 24-year-old medic within the military, said he started to run the bath after the family dinner for his daughters – the 10-month-old and her sister, a two-year-old – while his wife ran to the store for dessert.

As the father waited for the bath water, he placed his 10-month-old in the tub and went to the adjoining bedroom to undress his two-year-old. As he prepared his daughter, his 5-year-old brother began talking with him, distracting him.

“I had my back turned on the bath for like five minutes,” said the father. “It was my fault; I was distracted.” Just as the father was going to turn back to the bath, he heard the baby’s mother walking through the door.

The man decided to hide behind the door to surprise his wife, and after he had done so, turned to the bathroom to find his baby face-down in the water.

“My [wife] began screaming and called 911, and was told that the fire department was on its way,” said the father. The man began CPR on his baby. Shortly afterward, his 18-year-old brother came in, assessed the situation, and also began helping with CPR.

“I got her to scream and cleared her airway by the time the fire department arrived,” said the father. The child was released from the hospital on February 16.

Child Protective Services did investigate the situation, and requested that the couple enter parental counseling. The father believes what happened to him was an innocent mistake that could have happened to anyone. “Parents leave their kids in the bath for a moment all the time, especially if they leave the bathroom to get something real quick, like a camera, if their kid is doing something funny,” he said.

(previous story Feb. 16)

A 10-month-old toddler was airlifted to Children’s Hospital after she suffered a near drowning on Monday evening, February 15.

According to North County Fire Prevention District public information officer John Buchanan, the 10-month-old female slipped under the water during a bath. When the situation was discovered, a call was placed to 911, and the child’s guardians were talked through the CPR process via telephone.

“After CPR, the child spit up and began crying,” said Buchanan.

Paramedics arrived on scene shortly afterward and the child was transported to Children’s Hospital. According to Buchanan, the child is “expected to have an optimistic, positive outcome.”

37 Responses to "Father of 10-month-old who nearly drowned explains, “It’s my fault; I was distracted”"

  1. Bonsallll   February 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    and the parents were where????

  2. fallbrook mom   February 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    A 10 month old has no business bathing alone and I am certain that the child was alone or would not have nearly drowned. I hope that the parents are charged with child-endangerment. This is disturbing.

  3. mom of two   February 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Where the heck were the parents. Charges I hope and pray are pending on them. You NEVER NEVER leave an infant alone in the bath tub EVER. Stupid is as stupid does…Parenting classes are a must for these parents. I am glad the baby is alive and I pray this never happens again. Educate yourselves on raising your children safely and securely, so something that is preventable does not happen. These parents could be planning an funeral instead of God giving them a second chance.

  4. caln8tive   February 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    WTF???!!!!! Why would ANY parent leave a child alone in the tub? Where have these people been? Under a rock? Like you don’t know you aren’t supposed to do that? OMG!

  5. Keep it to Yourself   February 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    You know, it takes two SECONDS for that to happen. So please, before you judge, (because you weren’t there, and you’re not a CPS worker on the case), don’t assume that the parents weren’t there. The parent could have been right by the tub and turned around for a split second to grab a towel, a washcloth, soap, anything. You don’t know, and it’s not your business. Unless, of course, you are the PERFECT parent and have NEVER done anything wrong in raising your children.

  6. Kel   February 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    So true! All it takes is a second. I really appreciated the comment from "Keep it to yourself". Thank God, it sounds like the child will recover fully and that is the best news yet.

  7. mom of lots   February 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Have lots of grace, these people almost lost their child, CPS does NOT need to get involved!! IT IS CALLED AN ACCIDENT, meaning UN-INTENTIONAL.

  8. libh   February 17, 2010 at 6:35 am

    I don’t understand why in this case they gave CPR instructions over the phone. I’m glad they did, but I often read in cases that 911 dispatchers refuse to give that info over the phone even if. Baby is involved… why was this case different?

  9. Tim   February 17, 2010 at 6:37 am

    mom of lots, you need to look at why CPS should be called to this. You are at the opposite end of the spectrum as to the other comments. CPS is there to investigate not make decisions based on small amounts of information. You can call it an accident but so is running a red light. Except that it is an accident that should not happen. Father of 4, I have never left a child under 2 by themselves for any amount of time. I am not perfect but the family should have CPS out to help educate and see if anything can be done to help them. CPS isnt just called to take children away.

  10. CEB   February 17, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Great that 911 was able to talk them through CPR, but how much easier it would have been to be qualified. Both James Beebe and the NC CERT teach CPR – call one today and be prepared.

  11. ray   February 17, 2010 at 6:37 am

    sorry i dont think any excuse is viable…bottom line its child neglect

  12. BECALM   February 17, 2010 at 6:37 am


  13. diana   February 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Dont answer the phone or door if it’s important they will call or come back later. I am just very glad that the emergency crew was there and the child is safe

  14. SERIOUS ?   February 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    WOW ! where were the parents of this baby !! ? i agree with everyone else the parents should get charged for that because what kind of parents will leave their 10 MONTH OLD BABY alone.

  15. mom of lots   February 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Tim, I do not believe that every case where a child almost dies accidently, that CPS should automatically get involved. If the police upon their intial investigation, find that CPS needs to do further investigation, then absolutely they should. I do not like to see everyone jumping to conclusions the parent(s) were negelctful or bad parents. Accidents do happen.

  16. to mom of lots   February 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    CPS is there to investigate all child accidents (near drownings, etc. When you have a ten month old you put everything you’ll need within reach so you can attend to your child without ACCIDENTS….Either way they should at least attend parenting classes to learn what they need to know to prevent something like this happening again. Mom of lots if a child almost dies its time for some help from CPS, they can be helpful in these cases, unless your afraid of CPS for some other reason. Their involvement is necessary in these cases. God Bless this child and keep this family safe.

  17. THE MOTHER OF THE INCIDENT   February 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    To those that must know: my daughter is recovering well but with fever, CPS was called and parenting classes were admitted

  18. ITcanhappen   February 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Hey, I love my child and you can be in a deep conversation and not notice that for a second they slipped underwater and they are not able to scream- that’s why ANGELS are soo important! Pray about everything. And CPS from Fallbrook like to act like bullies with the threats of taking your child away just because someone ‘anonymously’ decides they don’t like you and can call in a story.

  19. the parents of the incident   February 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Well for starters, you can’t talk what u dont know. You weren’t there, I was. Secondly I am a medical field corpman for the US Navy, meaning I am well qualified for administering CPR. So in regards to the newspaper you can’t always believe what your reading. Plus i know not every person is perfect, I are one of them as well.

    If you want the real story please email me @ [email protected] and I, the father well be happy to tell you the whole story if u must know.

  20. Pink   February 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    To the "Parents" so glad to hear the baby will be ok. Lesson learned. God bless.

  21. Theresa   February 19, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I happen to know all the parties invovled and can tell you they are the best parents I have known. As we all know if what can happen is a second when you are dealing with children!!!. the father started cpr immediately as he is a trained corpsman in the navy. So before you judge get your facts right!!!!!!!!

  22. to parents   February 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I am glad the infant is okay, but it is disturbing that the incident happened. Great reminder to all regarding safety rules.

  23. keep it going   February 22, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I love the fact that everytime something happens to someone who serves in the Military they let you know that in the story. "A Military man, Marine, or medic". How come its not just a Man, or Father, or something like that. I never see a story that starts with or has in the story that they are "Walmart worker, Freash and Easy worker, or a Village News worker", unless it has to do directly with that said story.

  24. hmmm   February 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    He took responsibility and was accountable for his actions.The parents learned a valuable lesson that will last their lifetime…sometimes it takes a near tragic occurance to make us better people. And he IS right..we ALL make careless choices. Thankfully theirs had a good outcome..

  25. Give him credit   February 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I think this father is to be commended for being so open and honest about what happened. Thank goodness the outcome was a positive one.

  26. mom of lots   February 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    This man had this story published on what exactly happened- he did not have to do that. It is a good reminder to all parents to never let your guard down, especially when it comes to water. I am SO happy to hear that sweet baby is alive and that her father was able to resucitate her. A miracle!

  27. Glad she is ok   February 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I know that sometimes it only takes a second for a tragedy to happen but glad that this family is ok otherwise we would have a Dad that has to deal with this and funeral and instead its a happy ending and i am sure now he will be extra careful like not putting you baby in until ur gonna watch them, or even having the wife help him also. All these little things make a difference when you have more than one baby and toddlers to deal with . Good luck with your babies and don’t blame yourself so much be happy she is alive and enjoy them.

  28. observant   February 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I wouldn’t wish CPS on my worst enemies. They are the essence of our "government knows best" culture. It didn’t happen in this case but I can easily see a future where this incident would be grounds for permanent removal of all of the children from the household WITHOUT A TRIAL. Maybe they would send them off to a National Youth camp like Nazi Germany.

    Yes, it was an accident. Mom of Two, you stated "charges I hope and pray are pending." I argue that your thought process, as induced from that statement, make you vastly more of an unfit parent than the two in this article. Are you a product of a National Youth Camp?

    The scariest words you will ever hear:

    "We are from the government and we are here to protect you."

  29. mom of lots   February 23, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Bravo to "observant"! I couldn’t have said it any better.

  30. forgiver   February 23, 2010 at 8:29 am


  31. Local   February 23, 2010 at 8:32 am

    It’s so easy to sit back and criticize. I remember being young with kids in the house. You do the best you can. Hindsight is always 20/20. Pray that the family can stick together despite all the mean people pointing their fingers and casting stones. It’s a very stressful world for young families. Leave them alone.

  32. local   February 23, 2010 at 9:11 am

    as somebody stated he published his story and it sounds like he did not leave anything out. he could have lied to make it sound like it wasn’t his fault but he told the whole story. his mistake or lack of judgement for a few moments can teach and remind us as parents that anything can happen in seconds! My 3 year old broke her nose while running, she ran into the couch face first. I was right there! Again anything can happen we as parents have to protect our children from themselves. Atleast the child is doing well. And parenting classes will help them to ensure this won’t happen again.

  33. Sheila   February 23, 2010 at 10:24 am

    To the father, it could have easily happened to one of my children. Thank God it didn’t and they are all grown now. Don’t blame yourself too much, for sure it is a mistake you will never repeat. Thankfully it didn’t turn out worse and hopefully CPS will not continue to be involved. My blessings and prayers are with you.

  34. Tommy   February 25, 2010 at 11:56 am

    S*it happens. Just learn from your mistake.

  35. jp   March 1, 2010 at 12:34 am

    This happened to my wife at 8am this morning. I’ve asked her several times to not leave the children in the bathtub alone. She has repeatedly left our 2 year old and 10 month old sons alone in a huge jacuzzi tub. This morning I was downstairs in the kitchen and heard her crying and screaming uncontrollably. My other son began crying as well. I ran into the bathroom to find her hunched over my 10 month old son. He was blue in the face and his upper body was pale. He was unresponsive and not breathing. He had a heartrate but it was beginning to flutter. I responded with yelling because I could surmise that she left our 10 month alone in the tub to put some clothes away and tend to the 2 year old in the other room as he got out on his own. I slapped her in the face for her negligence, and began trying to clear the airway for our son. He crapped all over himself, myself and the floor, He vomited at least a liter of water apparently the second clearing. He began to breathe and his eyes returned. I continued to yell at my wife and slap her in the head for her mistake. (I feel bad about this, but I’ve literally told her 3 or 4 times after finding the children alone in the tub that it is completely unacceptable-she responded with negative name calling and telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about). Because of my previous warnings and the constant feeling that she is a negligent parent-I had been living in fear that I would loose one of my sons to her carelessness and today it almost happened. Thankfully the baby is fine and had a good day, but I’m still wired and angry about the situation. My wife is also in the Britney Spears club of driving with the baby in her lap. She’s done it with both of our kids repeatedly and finally about a week ago she got stopped by the police and issued a ticket. Anyways this is the person I’ve married and now I’m having to deal with situations like this. Both of my children have had several near death experiences in they are less than two years old. I’ve tried to intervene and give her a break because her excuse is, "i’m tired." but of course, I’m not good enough. Today along with all the previous incidents and "accidents," I’m ready to throw in the towel… I’ve never slapped (never ever punched) until I met my wife, and to me she honestly needs to be slapped more often. (this is the second time I’ve slapped her.) Opinions? other than we both need to be in looney bins-I know that, but life doesn’t offer vacations from well life.

  36. to jp   August 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    First yes she is negligent possibly just na

  37. erin   November 5, 2012 at 1:19 am

    @JP, are you kidding me dude???? So supposedly your nearly dead infants are lying limp in the bathtub, and instead of immediately attempting to remove them from the water, you waste a bunch of precious time by “just slapping your wife?”

    Really, you claim she is negligent and not intelligent with regards to the care of your two small babies, but then you let your babies continue suffering and drowning for God knows how long til you are done slapping your wife in the freaking face????

    You are the negligent parent in this situation!! First of all, you should give your wife the benefit of the doubt, before deciding that she was negligent. And especially you have willful disregard for the safety, well being, and welfare of your babies by letting them continue to drown, so you can just beat the heck out of their mother???

    You seriously need to see a shrink. Someone needs to check your motives and methods of operation here. IT IS NOT OK for you to abuse your wife under any circumstance. Especially this situation. IF she was hovered over your baby, I am sure she was attempting to remove her from the bathtub stupid!!

    How dare you insinuate that you have the divine right to beat your wife, after entering the bathroom, jumping to the conclusion that she is harming your kids, and continue to let them suffer and drown, while you beat the heck out of her in front of them!! No wife deserves to be slapped, or hit, or abused!!

    Your baseless accusations and conclusions against the very mother you CHOSE to procreate with, are sick, twisted, neglectful, irresponsible, and incapable of making the decision to save your child from the dangerous situation immediately!!

    Do you really think you are a good father for having your two terrified, traumatized, and injured children witness their mother getting socked up???? Not OK. Inexcusable. IF she is really that bad, then get a divorce for goodness sake!! Don’t live a lie, and play the helpless victim, if she is truly that terrible, plead your sob story in family court and let the judge decide who gets custody.

    If your intentions are truly pure and you wish only to protect your kids, then freaking do so. Don’t throw her under the bus, then justify your abuse by claiming she is inept at raising your two kids! You probably don’t do a thing to help her with the kids, housework, or jack crap. Just expect your dinner to be on the table the second you walk in the door. She can do everything else like superwoman huh? Well, the next time you witness her truly “endangering the kids” then call 911 for heaven’s sake. Have them sort it all out. You obviously are incapable of making reasonable decisions, so let them handle the emergency.


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