Police have confirmed the tragic news that a two-year-old girl has passed away in hospital after what is being called a ‘medical incident’ that took place at Humpty Doo Community and Child Care Centre, 40 km outside of Darwin.
The childcare centre, which is community-based and managed by parent volunteers, is now being investigated and police are trying to piece together what exactly happened.
What we know so far
It has been reported that the incident took place on Thursday, 31 August 2023. St John emergency crews were the first to respond to the incident and confirmed that they transported one patient to the hospital who was in critical condition.
The toddler was treated at the Royal Darwin Hospital after the incident, where doctors unsuccessfully attempted to save her. The little girl died on Saturday, two days after the accident.
It is not known at this time what exactly happened but it has been reported that the child may have suffered a medical episode. At this stage, the toddler and her family have not been identified.
According to the centre, while the incident was under investigation, they could not comment on the incident.
Humpty Doo Community and Child Care Centre operates as a community-run centre and is managed by local parents who volunteer their time. The centre can take care of up to 116 children between four months and five years old.
‘Hearts are heavy’
Humpty Doo childcare centre sent a message to parents, confirming that a child required “medical assistance” at their premises.
“We can assure families there is no identifiable risk to any children in the service,’ the statement read, according to NT News. “We want to reassure families that the safety of their children is always our highest priority.”
In a separate statement released on Monday, the centre addressed the death of the two-year-old girl who had ‘tragically passed away over the weekend’.
“Our hearts are heavy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends at this time,” the childcare centre wrote. “We are still limited in what can be shared and appreciate the stress and worry this may cause.”
Humpty Doo Childcare Centre remains open as of Tuesday. One mother spoke to the media, sending her condolences to the family and questioning whether it was safe to leave her child there.
“I can’t imagine what that family is going through,” the Humpty Doo mum said. “When you hand over your child to a childcare centre, you’re trusting them with their life. The last thing you imagine is getting a call that your baby isn’t coming home.”
The mother said that she was ‘disappointed’ in the lack of information provided and that she knew of others who stopped sending their children there until further notice.
Our thoughts go out to the family involved in this incident. We will update the story as details are released.