Emergency doctor Neale Thornton
Emergency doctor Neale Thornton

Toddler fighting for his life

A MACKAY toddler is fighting for his life in Brisbane after being pulled unconscious from a swimming pool on Tuesday night.

This is the fourth near drowning in the region in the last four days; the total number of cases has tripled in comparison to the same time last year.

Paramedics rushed to an Andergrove home at 6.15pm to aid the two-year-old boy after he was found, not moving, at the bottom of a pool on Tuesday night.

He was discovered by a relative, who pulled him from the pool and, with the help of neighbours, performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

The boy was taken to Mackay Base Hospital in a critical condition. He was flown to the Brisbane Royal Children's Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Mackay Base Hospital emergency doctor Neale Thornton said the number of near drowning cases was concerning.

There had been seven cases of near drowning in the hospital's emergency department since December 7, Dr Thornton said. In 2011, there were only two cases.

There has also been the water-related death of a two-year-old girl.

"This is an unusually high number and (it is) alarming to have so many cases so close together," Dr Thornton said.

"We've had eight children come in after having been immersed in water."

One child had died and several others were in a serious condition.

All seven cases involved a swimming pool and some involved defective pool gates.

The children - boys and girls - were aged from one to seven years, he said.

Five were pulled unconscious from swimming pools and required extensive CPR to be revived.

Dr Thornton said it was important that small children were supervised at all times when near any kind of water body.

"It doesn't take much for a child to drown," he said.

"I've personally seen cases where children have drowned in nappy buckets.

"Everyone who has small kids should learn CPR.

"As these last cases have shown, CPR has been a huge difference."

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