Adelaide police investigate death of 5-year-old girl at home in Seaton

The family of a five-year-old girl who died suddenly at an Adelaide home say the child suffered a suspected asthma attack.

Emergency services were called to a house on Ballater Ave, Seaton in Adelaide’s western suburbs about 4pm on Wednesday to find the five-year-old girl unresponsive.

Paramedics treated the incident, which authorities believed was a cardiac arrest.

The girl’s great-uncle Anthony Wanganeen said the family was “in shock”.

“There is no way you would expect a five-year-old girl to die from asthma,” he told The Adelaide Advertiser.

Mr Wanganeen said the girl had suffered from asthma for several years and described her as a “playful and happy” child.

He also said he believed her mother was buying an inhaler for the child at the time of the attack.

While a spokesperson for the South Australian Police declined to confirm the alleged cause of the child’s death, they confirmed that her family is cooperating with police and no charges or arrests have been made.

Earlier Thursday, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said authorities were taking the case “seriously” and that authorities were trying to determine how the child died.

“Obviously it’s very tragic when anyone loses their life, especially a young person,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“Until we get further clarification regarding the cause and circumstances, we are obviously taking the matter seriously.”

The Major Crimes Unit is assisting with investigations into her death, which Commissioner Stevens said is common for early inquiries due to the child’s age.

“When our five-year-old child dies, we want to make sure we have the right resources to determine the circumstances as quickly as possible so we can move forward in the right direction,” he said.

The 13-year-old who made the triple 0 call told the Adelaide Advertiser he sprang into action after hearing the man screaming.

“As I got closer to the man, I could see that he was holding a child – a girl – in his arms and she was limp, not moving or anything, and I think he was screaming her name,” he said.

“When he saw me, he shouted at me to call an ambulance, so I ran to a phone booth in the street and called an ambulance.”

The five-year-old girl was treated at the scene, but later died at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“The matter is now the subject of a coronial investigation. Police will remain at the scene for some time,” a police spokesman said.

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