Mourning for Baby Travis

EMOTIONAL family members and friends have paid tribute to Banora Point toddler Travis McCarron, whose life was tragically cut short when he drowned while on a day-care outing last Friday.

Flowers, teddy bears, balloons and cards have been laid beside the pond at Tweed Heads South where the toddler was found unconscious after wandering off from his day-care group.

Travis, 21 months, is said to have walked about 50m into the unfenced pond from the playground at Russell Way where he and 14 other children were playing under the supervision of three Tweed Shire Family Day-Care employees.

Travis's parents Ricky and Kirsty McCarron described the toddler as "our little hero, forever in our hearts".

Jenny Travis, the boy's grandmother, said the tragedy had left family members heartbroken.

His sister Tameeka, 10, and Aunt Jacintha, 13, wrote a letter that was delivered to the Tweed Daily News which read "To the world he was one person, but to some people he was the world. We will miss him! We love you Travis." Emotional messages written on cards in honour of the little boy were placed beside the pond and pinned to a nearby tree over the weekend.

"Travis -- our darling boy," one card said, "Papa's mate -- his best mate. We love love love you. How we'll miss you, Granny and Papa."

"Travis was loved by everyone. With his cheeky little grin, he was always on the run. Travis will be sorely missed, but never forgotten by anyone," another message said.

Roger Hoy, a friend of the McCarrons and coach at Tweed Heads Soccer Club, said a minute's silence was held before Saturday's games in memory of Travis.

"They (the family) are very well loved by family and friends and the local community," he said.

Mr Hoy asked that the media respect the McCarron family's privacy at what was an extremely difficult time.

"The family has asked to be left alone at least for today," he said.

"They want to be able to come to understand what has happened before they can even begin to talk about it."

Residents who live on Russell Way said that regular trips were made by day-care groups to the playground by the pond.

The children on Friday's outing were aged between six months and four years and a 12-year-old boy with special needs was also in attendance.

Police said Travis wandered off from the group and, following a search by carers, was found unconscious in the pond about 10.20am.

Attempts were made by the day-care workers and paramedics to revive the boy, who was transported by ambulance to The Tweed Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 11am.

Police, the Department of Community Services, Work Cover and Tweed Shire Day Care have all launched investigations into the circumstances surrounding the drowning.

The investigations will determine any breaches of legislation and licence conditions, including whether the number of carers was sufficient for a group of children that size.



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