The mother of a four-year-old girl who drowned in a crowded public pool wants to ensure no other families suffer the same tragic heartache.

She has also rushed to the defence of lifeguards saying “no one is to blame” for the freak accident.

Mia Harrison slipped below the water’s surface in the children’s pool at Orange Aquatic Centre in Central West NSW on Saturday afternoon, shares 7 news.

Her heartbroken mother Mekaela, who was holding another friend’s baby at the time, said she still doesn’t know if she slipped or was knocked over.

“We don’t know exactly what happened, that is the horror of it,” she told the Daily Telegraph.

The grieving NSW mother said lifeguards did everything they could to save her baby girl.

“I’m aware a lot of people have said the lifeguards are to blame but that is not the case at all, I can’t thank them enough,” Ms Harrison said.

“It was not their fault. They are not babysitters…they probably feel as terrible as I do.”

Ms Harrison is determined to use her tragedy to ensure other families don’t lose a child in similar circumstances.

“If I can save one other child by telling parents not to take your eyes off them for one second, and teach them to swim as soon as you can, when they are babies — if I can stop this from happening for anyone else, that’s one tiny thing I can take from this.”

Children can drown in just a few seconds.

It is best to carefully watch your children at all times around water with no distractions diverting your attention.

Our thoughts are with the family at this tragic time.

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  • Oh gosh how tragic. It’s true, you literally can’t take your eyes off kids in or near water for a second.


  • Children are so quick to get away and even if we think it, we do not have “eyes” in the back of our heads. I was lucky with one of my children , he went under the water. My husband and I were both there with 3 children (6, 4 & 2). It was the two year old and a creek bed, so not deep but deep enough for him to go under and for us to see the panicked look on his face. It took years before he would put his face under water even his face. He had floaties on his arms but it was his head that went under. A public pool would be a nightmare.


  • At swimming pools where children have lessons there is an instructor in the water with them the entire time even if the children are considered to be confident swimmers. There is also a limit of how many children are allowed in divided sections of the pool during lessons. I know of one pool which has lifeguards but they are watching 2 pools side-by-side at the same time.


  • Its definitely not the life guards fault. Who in their right mind lets a 4 year old go swimming without an adult in the water with them? In arms reach at all times.


  • How very sad. Water is so dangerous for children :(


  • Very sad – and very brave of the mother to speak up.


  • Oh, sweet little girl. I hadn’t heard this news yet. So tragic. :-(


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