A Christchurch mum haunted by the death of her precious toddler who drowned in a pond at their home is urging parents to keep their kids away from water this summer.
The mother-of-two is bravely speaking out after a hellish three weeks following the death of her beautiful, smiley boy in the hope of preventing other parents going through the same unbearable pain.
Six toddlers have lost their lives in the water already this year and Water Safety New Zealand is pleading with parents to watch over their kids to stop more needless deaths.
The 27-year-old mum, who only wanted to be known as Amber, said she was haunted by the image of finding her happy little boy lying lifeless in the family's fully fenced Christchurch pond.
"He was the happiest boy. Very adventurous. He had red hair and blue eyes - he was quite beautiful."
The adventurous 2-year-old had been playing in their backyard in the sunshine just before 2pm in early September.
When the mum, who also has a baby son, went to call Oliver for lunch a few minutes later and he didn't respond she went to find him.
As Amber scanned the backyard, her eyes landed on the boy floating lifelessly in the pond.
The pond was surrounded by a 1 metre-high fence, but the wee boy had managed to remove a lose panel and enter it.
What happened next is a blur.
"I don't really remember much. I pulled him out and tried to revive him, but it was too late.
"He was floating up and his eyes were wide open."
Cradling her son, Amber called 111 and performed CPR.
A St John spokeswoman confirmed they sent two ambulances and a rapid response vehicle to the scene at 2.03pm.
Amber said they arrived within minutes and confirmed he was dead.
She then went onto their front lawn and screamed.
"People came out of their houses and stood at their driveways and looked at me."
No one came to help, she said, and she waited alone on her driveway until her partner arrived home from work.
Amber said the image of her son floating in the pond constantly haunts her.
"I never thought it would happen to me... I can't really function at all. Anyone I see with red hair it triggers me. I can't even bath my own son. I haven't put my head under water for two weeks..
"Every second it's all I think about."
Amber said it didn't matter whether a pond or pool was fenced, she wanted other parents to know they were still dangerous.
"I just think people who have ponds or any kind of water - I'm one of those parents who is constantly aware of where my child is, but you only have to turn your head for a few seconds.
"I've told everyone I know, if they've got ponds or pools - in my opinion it's just not worth it."
She was now living a nightmare and could not even look out the window at the pond or pick up a photo of her son since the accident.
"I will never get over this."
A memorial service was held at a local park in Oliver's memory with lots of friends and family gathering and releasing orange balloons to symbolise his bright red hair.
Water Safety NZ chief executive Jonty Mills said the family's story was heart-breaking, yet all too familiar.
He said any amount of water presented a risk, particularly for toddlers, and whilst constant adult supervision was the only foolproof solution, it was well known how people could be distracted and how quickly a toddler could disappear, especially once they' were mobile.
"We're advocates of pool fencing and restricted access to waterways, however at the same time it's unrealistic to expect every waterway in this country to be restricted.
"We've lost six toddlers in preventable situations so far this year and even with gates and fences, it's imperative we keep eyes on toddlers at all times, as well as ensuring fences, gates and latches are checked and maintained. It takes less than a minute for a child to drown."
A Givealittle page has been set up to help ease the financial stress for the family while they grieve for their son.