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A 1-year-old boy who was staying with his aunt for the Jewish New Year somehow wandered in to the bathroom overnight. Hours later, a sibling found him face down in the toilet with his feet hanging over the side, reports the New York Post.

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Mendi Altman was discovered by his 13-year-old sister, who got up to use the bathroom, and on discovering her baby brother, managed to pull him out of the toilet.

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The boy was one of six siblings who had traveled from Money, N.Y., to visit the home of their mother’s sister to ring in the year 5773 on the Jewish calendar.

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Mendi was rushed to a local Brooklyn hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  The drowning was ruled accidental by a medical examiner and police suspect no criminality.

Watch news coverage of this tragedy here:

According to police authorities, the children were put to bed at 9:00 p.m.  Adult relatives then checked on them at around 10:00 p.m., and they were reportedly sleeping soundly.  A couple of hours later, the frantic screams of the boy’s sister woke everyone up in the home. The family called an ambulance and the child’s lifeless body was transported to a hospital, where doctors informed the family that the boy had drowned.

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According to the child’s uncle, whose name has not been released, the family is devastated by the child’s death.  He tells the New York Post, “They’re in mourning,” he said. “It’s a terrible tragedy.”

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According to National Safe Kids, more than half of drownings among infants under age 1 occur in toilets and buckets. 

Children can die in as little as one inch of water.  The drownings and near-drownings can occur in a matter of seconds and typically occur when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse in supervision.

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