Hervey Bay toddler dies five days after dam tragedy

A HERVEY Bay toddler has become the seventh child to drown in south-east Queensland in just two weeks.

The two-year-old girl, who was pulled unconscious from a dam at Nikenbah last weekend, died surrounded by family in a Brisbane hospital on Friday.

With one week left of school holidays, a father who knows all too well the grief of losing a child to drowning has pleaded with the community to gather around the family of the little girl lost and do all they can to ensure no one else suffers the same trauma.

Emergency services were called to a rural property at Sunshine Acres on Sunday, January 11, after the toddler managed to escape through an open back door and get to the dam some distance away from the home.

When her mother was alerted she performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

The child was able to be revived and airlifted to Brisbane where she lost her fight five days later.

"When kids are running in all different directions, it's very hard to maintain constant eye contact with all of them," Mr Plint said.

"It's the nature of children that once they can move on their own, your chances of controlling them plummet."

Speaking from experience, Mr Plint said the worst thing people who knew the family could do was to avoid them because they didn't know what to say.

He said using the child's name (the Chronicle cannot do so for legal reasons) when they spoke of them and just being there to listen helped.

Eventually, after the passing of time, something Mr Plint has found to be of great comfort is when people come up to him and say they have made changes in regards to water safety because of Hannah's story.

"Grief is a topic no one wants to talk about but everyone needs to talk about," he said.

"Allowing people to share in their common grief, knowing the child they lost has left a legacy ...that's what brings people together."



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