Two-year-old toddler who died in Brisbane had significant burns, police say

UPDATE 2:45 PM | A TWO-year-old girl who died in Brisbane last night had suffered horrific burns after being immersed into a scalding hot bath, police say.

Emergency services were called to the Ridge Street home at Northgate just before 3.30pm on Thursday after the little girl stopped breathing.

Paramedics spent up to 30 minutes administering CPR on the child, who was unconscious, at the scene before rushing her to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in a critical condition.


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Sadly, the little girl’s injuries were too severe and she could not be saved. Police confirmed she died in hospital around 11.30pm. She was just shy of her third birthday.

Speaking at a press conference a short time ago, Detective Inspector Tim Trezise said the girl had suffered extensive severe burns to the back of her body which “likely caused her death”.

“[she] had some particularly significant and serious injuries which appear to be very severe burns to her back of her legs, her buttocks, and lower back and going all the way down to her feet,” Det. Insp. Trezise said.

“It would appear that [the toddler] has suffered these burns as a result of being immersed in a bath.”

Det. Insp. Trezise said at this stage the incident appeared to be “a terrible accident” caused by “a moment’s inattention”.

“However, due to the very very serious nature of these burns, and the fact that they were so serious that they have quite likely caused her death, we have a very open mind in relation to other possibilities,” he said.

“The indications are that the injuries occurred some days ago, they certainly didn’t occur yesterday.”

The toddler’s mother, father and five-year-old sister were the only people inside the house at the time the injuries were sustained.

“One would assume that medical treatment would have been sought but at this point, we haven’t been able to establish that any medical treatment was sought so that is a significant avenue of our inquiries,” Det. Insp. Trezise said.

“It is a very sad and tragic event.”

Det. Insp. Trezise said the toddler’s parents were “very traumatised” and were assisting detectives with their investigation.

“They are cooperating with police at this stage and whilst obviously they are persons of interest in relation to the investigation we have no particular issue with the amount of assistance they have provided to this point.”

Minister for Child Safety Shannon Fentiman said the family was not known to the Department of Child Safety.

“I can confirm that the Department of Child Safety was not currently investigating or involved with this family at the time of this tragic incident,” Ms Fentiman said.

“My heart breaks for the family and friends of this little girl. There are many people grieving today.

“We all need to be respectful of the police investigation underway. As already reported police are working with the family, who are fully cooperating with the investigation.”

Detectives from the Child Protection Unit are investigating the sudden death as part of Operation Papa Belvedere and a command centre has been set up at the Boondall Police Station.

Scientific police remain at the Ridge Street home which is expected to remain a crime scene for a number of days.

An autopsy is yet to be conducted on the child to determine the exact cause of death.

No further information was available at the time of writing.