Toddler dies after Melbourne pond fall

The two-year-old Victorian girl was found unresponsive in a pond days earlier.

The two-year-old Victorian girl was found unresponsive in a pond days earlier. Photo: AAP

A toddler has died after being found unresponsive in a pond in Melbourne’s inner-west earlier this week.

The two-year-old girl was discovered in the Footscray Park pond about 8pm on Monday.

She was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital but died overnight, trauma director Professor Warwick Teague confirmed on Friday.

He said the girl was only out of sight for a matter of minutes before she was found face down in the water.

“It is very timely to remind ourselves of the absolute importance of constant vigilance and attention to water safety,” Prof Teague told reporters.

“(This is) to ensure that the summer times remain happy times for our children, full of enjoyment of water, but free from the tragedy and the upset of injury.”

Prof Teague said children can drown within 20 seconds and those under five years old need to be within arm’s reach at all times.

Children under 10 years old must be within eyesight at all times.

“Water can bring us joy, but we do need to take care,” Prof Teague said.

“Please don’t think that this is something that cannot or will not happen to your family.

“Even when care is taken, circumstances can still bring us to tragedy.”

The two-year-old’s death follows three other separate child water accidents in Victoria this week, Professor Teague said.

A seven-year-old girl is in critical condition after nearly drowning in a household pool at San Remo on Thursday.

She was an able swimmer who had attended swimming lessons and was being supervised by an adult at the time, Prof Teague said.

Another seven-year-old girl is recovering from injuries after a boat explosion at Robinvale, while a 13-year-old boy was flown to hospital on Thursday following a boating accident at Lake Nagambie.

Meanwhile, the body of a 43-year-old woman swept off rocks while fishing with family at San Remo, in an incident unrelated to the seven-year-old girl, was found on Friday.

A Life Saving Victoria spokeswoman told AAP there have been eight reported drownings in the state since December 1, which is two more than the 10-year average.

There have been 24 reported drownings in Victoria since July 1, she said, which is three more than the 10-year average.


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