Lah’Theah-Rose Cox was an inquisitive two-year-old. Three weeks ago, she was playing in her Perth backyard with her puppy, while her mother was inside, making a snack. When the puppy got through a hole in the back fence, the little girl followed.
She fell straight into the neighbour’s pool.
Lah’Theah-Rose’s mum desperately searched for her daughter. By the time she found her, she was unconscious. Paramedics spent an hour working on the toddler.
She was taken to hospital, but four days later, her life support was turned off.
Lah’Theah-Rose’s grandmother, Michelle Nelson-Cox, says what happened was “absolutely horrific”.
“My heart breaks for them because I just think how life can be so cruel,” she tells Nine News.
She says no one realised the fence was broken, and she would like to see more frequent safety inspections by local councils.
“Four years is too far in between,” she says. “I think there needs to be more frequent pool checks, particularly around fencing barriers.”
Nelson-Cox is also urging parents to be vigilant.
“Never, ever underestimate your child’s inquisitiveness.”
Steve Miller is a certified swimming pool safety inspector working in Perth. He believes WA is lagging behind other states when it comes to pool safety regulations, and if legislation was made stronger, it could prevent “injuries and death”.
“I think Queensland is leading with the legislation that they have,” Miller tells Mamamia.
He agrees with Nelson-Cox that safety barriers around pools should be inspected more often than once every four years. He says in Queensland, inspections are once every two years.