ODESSA - Imagine giving your child a bath, turning around for just a second, and in that time, your baby drowns. It's a terrifying thought no one wants to experience. However, for one Odessa family, it happened.
"It just takes a matter of seconds to minutes for a child to drown, even in just a few inches of water," Candy Powell with Medical Center Hospital, said.
That's all it took on Monday when 17-month old Angelica Hardin drowned in her bathtub. It happened at a home on Halifax in Odessa. Police say Angelica's father was giving her a bath, when he left the room for a second, only to come back and find her unresponsive, laying face down. She was taken to the hospital, and later transferred to Lubbock, but she passed away Tuesday morning.
Powell is a child safety expert at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. She teaches first time parents about the dangers of leaving babies alone in the tub. She says supervision is a parent's best friend.
"Supervision is probably the biggest key. Never, ever leave a child unattended, not to go answer the telephone, to go check on something you have cooking, any reason at all," Powell said. "If you've got to leave the bathroom, for any reason, while giving a bath, pick the baby up, wrap the baby in a towel and take the baby with you."
It doesn't just apply to babies, it applies to all children. Powell says there are no hard fast rules as to what age a child can be left unattended.
"That's a hard one, but maybe around 10 years old or so. Nine or ten," Powell said.