Toddler Drowns in Bath as Mum Grabs a Towel from Other Room


One minute 22-month-old Mia was happily singing in the bath, splashing away with her toys. The next? She was under the water, not breathing.

Her mum, Joely Eastham-Jones had popped out of the bathroom for just “one minute” to fetch a towel for her daughter.  When she returned, her daughter was lying face down in the water. 

This tragedy occurred in Wales and acts as a stark reminder of just how important constant bath monitoring really is. I will be the first to admit that I have left my toddler in the bath to quickly grab something. But, after hearing about this, never again. 

What exactly happened? 

Mia was enjoying her bath while her mum watched on. After about five minutes, mum Joely asked if Mia wanted to get out. The toddler said she wanted to keep playing. 

toddler bath drowning
Image of a child playing in the bath. Source: Bigstock

So Joely quickly stepped out to fetch some towels while her daughter continued “singing and talking” from the bathtub. 

She was gone for just one minute, an inquest has heard, and when Joely returned, Mia had slipped under the water. 

She ran in and found her lying face down in the water

When Joely lifted her daughter out, she was pink, floppy, and not breathing. Joely began CPR on her daughter and called an ambulance.

But despite Mia being given oxygen and adrenalin, she died in the early hours of the following morning.

A post-mortem examination concluded that Mia had suffered multiple organ failure, including damage to the brain, kidneys and heart, consistent with drowning. The coroner ruled that the death was accidental.

She was left for a very, very short time by her mother in the bath, and sadly the circumstances which occurred thereafter were those which resulted in her passing,” coroner John Gittens said.

“I would like to record my very sincere condolences to the family of Mia in her tragic loss.”

This isn’t the first time something tragic like this has happened. According to Royal Life Saving, bathtub drownings claim an average of 5 Australian children’s lives every year, and 47 children are hospitalised due to bathtub near-drowning incidents.

One in four hospitalisations due to near-drowning will result in permanent injury such as brain injury. 

What to read next

This tragic accident is an awful reminder of just how important water safety is. Have a read of some of our previous articles on water, bath, and pool safety. 

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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