A SIX-YEAR-old girl was subjected to the horrifying experience of discovering her baby sister in a bucket of water, the Lautoka infant's death bringing to 17 the number of children who have died from drowning this year.
As a result of the tragedy on Wednesday, police again sent out a warning to parents and guardians that they would be charged if investigations found that negligence caused the death of their children.
The national drowning death toll now stands at 58 compared to 30 for the same period last year.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said if police investigations proved that parents and guardians left their children unsupervised, then they would be charged.
Ms Naisoro said police investigators had been told to look into the issue of parenting while they queried the deaths of each child.
In a release, the Fiji Police Force stressed the need for parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children at all times.
"It only takes a few minutes for a tragedy to occur which is why it is absolutely vital that the issue of supervision must be taken to heart and taken seriously," said Ms Naisoro. According to the police report, the incident occurred around 6pm on Wednesday when the body of the baby girl was found by her Class One sister.
The report stated that the toddler was with her sister and their mother when she allegedly went missing.
After a search, the child was found dead in a bucket of water by her sister.
The elder sister then carried her dead sister inside the house to their mother.
The report added that attempts were made to revive the infant at home before she was rushed to the Lautoka Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
A post-mortem examination is expected to be conducted soon while police investigations continue.
Reiterating calls for parents and guardians to be more vigilant, Ms Naisoro said the onus was on them to ensure each home and its surrounding were kept clear of materials that could pose a safety concern for children.
"Too many young innocent lives are being lost due to drowning-related incidents and it is sad to receive such cases involving those deemed vulnerable and are at a stage in their life where they rely on others for their safety."