Dad finds son, 2, still breathing in waste trap
Emergency services were called to a dairy farm at Te Poi about 11.30am on Thursday.
A two-year-old boy was with his parents at the cow shed on the south-eastern Waikato farm when he wandered off.
Matamata police sergeant Graham McGurk said the boy managed to climb under a gate before falling into a sandtrap used for filtering effluent.
‘‘Looks like he has been playing, it’s a couple of steps and he has fallen backwards.’’
McGurk said the father rushed to look for the boy and found him face up in the middle section of the draining pit.
‘‘The fact he was found face up, probably helped save him.’’
An effluent trap is gravity fed and used for filtering effluent before it flows to the nearby effluent pond.
The effluent settles at the bottom of the trap and the liquid drains off.
When the boy fell, the trap did contain mainly solids, which helped to keep the boy buoyant, but meant he did ingest effluent, McGurk said.
‘‘I believe the base (of the trap) was covered and it kept him buoyant.
‘‘The dad grabbed the boy and got him home to ring medical services.’’
McGurk said the boy was con- scious but struggling to breathe. ‘‘He was a very ill boy. ‘‘ They were concerned what was on his lungs.’’
St John paramedics arrived to administer first aid before the Waikato Westpac rescue helicopter landed with an advanced paramedic on board.
The boy was flown with his mother to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition.
McGurk said the area around the effluent pond was fenced off.
‘‘There is a great side of growing up on the farm, and then there is a downside as well.’’
Worksafe had reportedly been informed of the incident.