Sophia’s Story: Whirlpool Safety

SophiaThat tragic day I was home alone with my three kids; Sofia age 5, Patricio age 3 and my 6 months old Paulo. I put Sofia and Patricio in the bathtub and let Sofia turn on the jets. I left them for a moment to check the baby in the next room. It was only a few minutes that I was away tending to the baby.

When I returned to the bathroom I found Sofia under water and thought she was playing. It wasn’t until I touched her little leg that I realized my little girl was gone. The bathtub jets had grabbed her hair and the force was too strong for her to fight back. I cut her hair and pulled her out of the tub but she was unconscious by that time.

Unfortunately, in Mexico we do not have 911 or other emergency numbers to call for help. I put a bathrobe on and knocked on my neighbor’s door and asked for help. I left Patricio and Paulo with them and went on to the hospital. Once there, I was told that there was nothing that could be done. She had hit her head so hard that she drowned instantly. I do not know what really happened in the couple of minutes I was out. I feel so guilty for leaving the bathroom even for a minute.

I wish I could change that day and to never have left them for a split second. Sofia was a great swimmer even with her mermaid tail.

Sophia passed on January 23rd 2016. She will be loved and missed eternally.

This story was shared by Sofia’s mother to help drive awareness for child safety and help save other lives as way to honor the loving memory of Sofia.

Whirlpool Bathtub Warnings and Tips

Though soaking in a hot whirlpool tub is relaxing, elevated water temperatures can pose health threats to young children and at-risk adults. Water temperature in your whirlpool tub should not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit, warns Consumer Product Safety Commission. Know where the shut-off valve is for your whirlpool tub and turn it off in case of an emergency. Have your tub checked by a professional to make sure drain covers are safe and in good working order, and check them yourself throughout the year.

Drain Entrapment

Parents often overlook one potentially disastrous risk of whirlpools — entrapment in the drains and jets inside the tubs. Kids with long hair are particularly at risk, but other body parts can also become trapped in these small areas. When Miss Water Rat is showing off her newfound skills at holding her breath under water, her hair could become entangled in a drain or jet, preventing her from getting back to the surface. Teach your kids to keep fingers and toes away from drains and not to go under the water, especially if they have long hair. Newer drain covers are designed to prevent this type of accident; have a professional do a safety check on your tub. Know where the switch is to shut off the pump in case of entrapment. If you got knocked unconscious while in the water, you would drown within 10 seconds. You will involuntary “breathe” in water and your heart will stop beating in a minute.

If you had a near drowning, in which you had some water enter your lungs, you will feel fine immediately after that. But hours or days later, you will start feeling nauseous, drowsy and have difficulty breathing normally. Your condition will deteriorate until you realize it’s a major problem and head to the ER.

For more information visit:

Whirlpool Tub Risks for Children