Family’s warning after toddler nearly drowns in backyard pool


The family of a Victorian toddler who suffered brain damage after almost drowning in a backyard pool is urging residents to learn CPR.

Eighteen-month-old Cove Burns was found in the backyard swimming pool in Bundalong, northeast of Melbourne a fortnight ago.

His mum performed CPR immediately. The little boy was flown to the intensive care unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital where he has spent the past two weeks.

The family of Cove Burns are pleading for people to learn CPR and practise pool safety after he nearly drowned in a backyard pool at his Bundalong home. Source: 7 News

Cove’s aunt Emma Slee said without his mum’s quick actions and triple-0 “he wouldn’t be here”.

“He has a brain injury which he’s struggling with a bit,” she said. 

Ms Slee has joined a chorus of people warning about pool safety this summer.

“Don’t leave anything leaning against pool fencing that kids can climb over,” she said.

It comes after a 15-month-old girl drowned in a backyard spa in Euroa in Victoria’s northeast on Thursday night. 

Planning Minister Richard Wynn said the public “cannot afford to be in a position where more young people needlessly die”. 

In a bid to stop any more tragedies, the government has announced tough new laws which will see them inspect all backyard pools, spas and fences.

Cove unfortunately suffered a brain injury. Source: 7 News

“By the end of 2019 there will be a mandatory pool and spa register and regular checking of pools and spas through local councils,” Mr Wynn said.

Sue Eddy from the Victorian Building Authority said there are “three easy check lists” via the authority’s website.

Twenty-five children drowned between January 2000 and April 2017 another 13 ended up in hospital after a near drowning. 

About a third of those will never fully recover. 

Cove’s family has started a GoFundMe page to help in his recovery.