Toddler drowns in day care tragedy

A LOCAL family was faced with devastating news yesterday after their 18-month-old boy drowned while under the supervision of day care workers. The young boy was in the care of Tweed Shire Family Day Care when the incident occurred at Tweed Heads South about 10.20am. Police confirmed three carers from the day care centre had%taken a group of children to a playground on Russell Way for an outing. It is not known how many%children were with the group at the time. It is understood the children were playing on the playground equipment just metres away from a lake and under the watch of the carers when the boy separated from the group. After being noticed missing the boy was found motionless in the lake and pulled from the water by the day care workers, who attempted to resuscitate him. "It appears the child has wandered off from the group," Tweed Heads police officer Inspector Darren Steel said. "He was noticed missing by the carers who have commenced a search and he was found in a nearby pond. "The carers commenced resuscitation attempts and continued until the arrival of ambulance officers who also commenced resuscitation at the scene." A NSW ambulance spokesperson said the boy was in cardiac arrest "post-submersion" when he was found. He was transported in a critical condition to The Tweed Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. A Russell Way resident who lives across the road from the playground, told the Tweed Daily News a woman had come running over to his house to call an ambulance and that the ambulance had arrived in a "matter of minutes". When told the boy had died, the man was visibly upset, saying he had been under the impression the boy would survive when he was taken away by the ambulance. Insp Steel said the boy's parents had been notified soon after the incident and day care workers were assisting police with their enquiries. President of Tweed Shire Family Day Care Jo Goodwin yesterday issued a brief statement regarding the incident. "A tragic incident happened in the care environment today that resulted in the death of a child," she said. "Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family at this terrible time." The area where the boy was pulled from the water was yesterday secured by three uniformed police officers, including Insp Steel, as they waited for Forensic Services officers from Lismore to arrive. "The coroner has been out and inspected the scene," Insp Steel said. Another nearby resident said she had seen a group of children playing at the playground and the next thing she knew an ambulance had come racing down the street. She was not aware the boy had died. NSW Ambulance has since issued a warning to parents and carers to always remain vigilant when children are in the vicinity of water.



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