Dad finds son, 2, still breath­ing in waste trap

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.


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