Official Police Media Release On Tragic Death Of Waihi Toddler

Posted by Waikato Police Media Release - 20 July, 2011 on 20/07/2011

A tragedy that should serve as a warning to parents about the risks posed by containers holding water to children is how Police describe the death of a baby in Waihi yesterday.

Sergeant Dave Litton of the Waihi Police said emergency services were called to an address in the town shortly after 12pm yesterday. "It appears an 18-month-old boy has been playing in the back yard of his home and been left unattended for a brief period of time. "The boy's mother has gone to check on him and to her horror found the boy with his head and neck submerged in a plastic rubbish bin, half full of rainwater, by the back door." Both parents have rushed the child inside and tried to resuscitate him using CPR while a visitor has called 111 for ambulance attendance. "Attempts by the parents, ambulance officers and a doctor to revive the boy were unsuccessful.

The boy's death is not considered suspicious and has been reported to the Coroner to establish the cause and circumstances of death."

Mr Litton said wherever possible if people saw containers of water around where children played, empty them out and keep young ones under as much direct supervision as they can.

Gordon Matenga, Coroner Waikato Region, has issued an order pursuant to section 74 of the Coroners Act 2006 prohibiting the name of the deceased child from publication on the grounds of personal privacy highlighting that it is the circumstances of the death as a warning to others which is important here, in an effort to avoid further deaths in similar circumstances.