Two toddlers have died a week after being pulled unconscious from the bottom of their backyard pool.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Michael Porter and 16-month-old Josh Porter were rushed to hospital on March 25, after nearly drowning in the swimming pool of their home in Queensland, Australia.
The family announced on April 3 that both boys had passed away in hospital, according to local media reports.
Emergency services were called to their home in Morayfield, about an hour’s drive from Brisbane, following reports that two toddlers had been found at the bottom of the pool.
The two-year-old and 16-month-old were found at the bottom of a backyard pool last month. #9News | http://9News.com.au
The brothers, who were described as “beautiful little boys” by a neighbor to the Courier Mail, were rushed to two separate hospitals in the area.
They were transferred to Queensland Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit, but passed away over the weekend.
Local media reports have provided no details of how the accident may have happened.
BREAKING: Two young children are fighting for life after being pulled unconscious from a backyard pool at Morayfield. The 16-month-old toddler and two-year-old child were found in the water at a Michael Avenue home around 4:30pm. #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/hWGTsUIEQJ
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) March 25, 2019
Pictures of the pool show it is surrounded by a high metal fence.
According to local reports, authorities are trying to determine how the toddlers ended up in the pool.
Before the boy’s deaths had been announced, a crowdfunding appeal had already raised over $10,000 for their medical expenses and to help the family.
“Carmen and Jo are beautiful parents and need all of our love and support at this horrible time,” said the appeal on GoFundMe. “Michael and Josh are in all of our thoughts and prayers.”
Jo and Carmen Porter said they were grateful for the support they had received.
“It is with great sadness that we advise that our boys are no longer with us,” they said in a statement, reported The Australian.
“Our family is incredibly grateful for the support and care provided by staff of the Queensland Children’s Hospital.”
The family asked in their statement that their privacy be respected.
Drowning Incidents A Leading Cause of Death
An average of 30 children under the age of 5 die from drowning each year in Australia, according to a Royal Life Saving Society report.
“Most of the drowning incidents occurred in home swimming pools (91.6 percent), with a further 6.0 percent occurring in portable pools,” said the report.
“Supervision was completely absent in 59.0 percent of cases.”
According to the Australian government, drowning was the third most common cause of death in children aged 1-14, after genetic conditions and transport accidents.
In the United States, like many countries, drowning is the leading cause of death for young children, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)—mostly due to falling into a pool or being left in a bathtub.
The CPSC states, “Of the 3,786 drownings in 2016, more than 12 percent were children age 4 and younger, according to Injury Facts. Bathtubs, toilets, and even buckets also can pose a danger for very young children.”
“Most parents think water safety is first and foremost on their minds whenever they are enjoying summer activities with their young kids. But when the unthinkable happens, caregivers often say, ‘I only looked away for a second.’”
Earlier this month a 3-year-old girl in Texas died several days after she was found face-down in the bathtub when her mother left her unattended.
Police said Eve Blankenfield’s mother had left her unattended for “just a few minutes” while she went to fold laundry, reported KTVT.
Exactly what age is appropriate to leave a child alone in a bathtub is a matter for debate among experts, but many say they should be at least school age.
Dana Walraven, manager of Community Health Outreach at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, said parents should never leave a child unsupervised in the bathtub.
If a doorbell rings, parents should get the child out of the bathtub to answer it, she said.
“A child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone,” Walraven said in a 2018 news release, reported the Star-Telegram. “We ask parents for constant supervision of their child while in the water.”