Press Release 1902C-2700 – Drowning Death

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: Cathedral City Police (760) 770-0300

Issuing Employee: Commander Paul Herrera – 760-770-0308 – pherrera@cathedralcity.gov
Type of Case: Child Drowning / Case #1902C-2700

Date/Time Reported: February 12, 2019 / 9:51 PM
Location of Occurrence: 29300 Block of Avenida LaPaz, Cathedral City CA

Involved Party Information:

Name: Male toddler (identity not for release)
Age: 11 months old
City of Residence: Cathedral City, CA

Synopsis of Incident

On Tuesday 02/12/19 at 9:51 PM, Cathedral City Police officers along with Cathedral City Fire Department Paramedics were dispatched to an address in the 29300 Block of Avenida LaPaz regarding a baby that was not breathing. Police officers arrived on scene and started CPR on a 11-month-old male toddler. Fire Dept. paramedics arrived and immediately transported the child to Desert Regional Medical Center while attempting to revive the child. The child was immediately attended to by emergency and pediatric medical staff. The child was then prepared for an emergency helicopter flight to Loma Linda University Medical Center where medical staff worked tirelessly to revive him. He remained on pediatric life-support until he passed away on 02/18/19.

Officers investigated the origin and nature of the drowning and learned the child was playing inside of the residence. While crawling and walking around the interior of the residence unattended, the child apparently fell into a plastic, 5-gallon bucket containing less than 5 inches of water. The child was unable to pull himself up or dislodge himself from the interior of the bucket. His head and face were partially submerged in this position for a short period of time – long enough to render him unconscious. Unidentified family members located him in that position, called 911 and started CPR until officers arrived.

The event was investigated by the police department; however, no criminal charges are being considered and this appears to be an unfortunate accident.

The Cathedral City Police Department and the Cathedral City Fire Department want to draw attention to the dangers of water filled containers around the presence of small children. An unattended container of water poses as much risk around an unsupervised child as a bathtub or swimming pool. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 20 children die in the U.S. every year because they drown in buckets. “5-gallon buckets, often used for household chores, pose a serious threat to toddlers. Their tall, straight sides combined with their stability make it nearly impossible for top-heavy infants to free themselves when they topple in headfirst.”

Steps you can take:

  • NEVER leave a bucket of water in your house where small children can reach it. Even something as simple as answering the door or using the restroom can leave a window of time long enough to drown a child.
  • ELIMINATE all industrial, 5-gallon buckets from your household’s interior or around areas where children are present.

No further information identifying the child or family will be provided. They have requested their privacy in this unfortunate and difficult time.

End of release.

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