BALIK PULAU: A toddler died at Penang Hospital less than a day after she was briefly submerged in a pail during bath time.
Balik Pulau OCPD Supt A. Anbalagan said the little girl, aged one year and five months, was with her babysitter when she died at 2am on Wednesday (March 3) at the hospital after being rushed there unconscious on Tuesday (March 2).
He said that according to a preliminary investigation, the 43-year-old nanny had filled a basin almost to the brim when she wanted to bathe the child at around 11am on Tuesday.
When she realised that she had forgotten the towel, she went to fetch it. It was apparently just 10 steps away from the bathroom, he added.
"But when the caregiver got back to the bathroom, she found the victim's head had gone underwater with almost half her body submerged and the feet outside the basin.
"The babysitter immediately removed the child from the basin and found that she was still conscious.
"She changed the toddler and let her sleep," said Supt Anbalagan.
About half an hour later, the woman saw that the toddler had become weak and was in a lifeless state.
"She then called an ambulance for help, and at the same time tried to perform CPR on the girl," he said, adding that the ambulance arrived at about 12.15pm.
The toddler was taken from Pematang Damar Laut in Batu Maung to Penang Hospital.
Drowning was suspected following an initial treatment, said Supt Anbalagan.
"The child was in critical condition and under specialist care at around 4pm on Tuesday.
"She died at 2am on Wednesday," he added.
A post-mortem will be conducted on Thursday (March 4) morning after a Covid-19 swab test was conducted on the deceased at the hospital, he said.
Supt Anbalagan said there were no witnesses to the drowning.
The babysitter was arrested at noon on Wednesday and a remand order on her will be sought by the police to complete the investigation.
The case is being investigated under Section 31 (1) (a) of the Children's Act 2001 for negligence leading to harm.