Distracted Mom Almost Drowns Daughter, Captures Nation’s Attention

By ABC News

Oct 21, 2013 12:22pm


ABC News’ Linzie Janis and Natasha Singh report:

It’s every mother’s worst nightmare: look away just long enough for something to go wrong with her child. Which is exactly what happened to Jennifer Meer, who left her 3-year-old daughter, Ruby, alone in the bath for two minutes to respond to an email.

“I put her in the tub, and started filling it up. I went to go find my son so I could put him in the shower, saw the iPad, heard the little ping, an email from a friend,” Meer, 36 of Hartford, Conn., said on “Good Morning America.”

“I felt compelled to respond to it. I had her probably alone in the tub for two minutes.”

Unfortunately for Meer, those two minutes were long enough for Ruby to fall asleep, slumped against the side of the tub.

“I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” Meer said. “If I had taken the time maybe to answer one more email, try to squeeze in one more thing … It really did haunt me to think about what could have happened.”

Meer, who is pregnant with her third child, blogged about the experience in a post that starts out, “Last week, I almost killed my daughter.” Meer goes on to talk about distracted living, saying the experience was a wake-up call that she has become too distracted by social media and multi-tasking in general.

The outpouring online suggests she’s not alone. One person wrote, “Thank you for writing this! So very brave.”

“We all need to slow down,” another says.

California psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser said, “With two-thirds of accidental drownings taking place in a bathtub, parents don’t realize how common this can actually be. Jennifer’s story is a great cautionary tale.”

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