A 16-month-old baby girl died when she was strangled by a blind chord that she had been caught in while playing.
An inquest heard toddler, Bronwyn Taylor, got her neck caught inside a beaded cord loop at her grandparents’ home and fell over on April 2.
She was found by her grandmother, retired nurse Shirley Taylor, 66, who desperately tried to resuscitate her.
Ambulance crews dashed to the house in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, after receiving a 999 call at 3.30pm and rushed her to hospital, reports Daily Mail.
But Bronwyn suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead when she arrived at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
A post-mortem found she died as a result of strangulation via a window blind, an inquest at North Staffordshire Coroners Court heard.
Assistant coroner David James described the death as an ‘utter tragedy’ and implored parents to ensure their blinds are safe.
Recording a conclusion of accidental death, he said: ‘I can see plentiful use in me asking, imploring, advising, stressing to landlords, homeowners, parents, grandparents and local authorities, the importance of double-checking and ensuring all window blinds and fitments are safe.
‘If they are not, or are suspected of not being, the blinds must be modified to make them safe or be replaced.
‘Everything must be done to reduce or eliminate the risk of such tragedies as this from occurring again.
‘Bronwyn was happily playing in an environment she was familiar and content with, with her adoring grandparents and brother.
‘After only a few moments on her own, her young life was so tragically taken when she became entwined in the window blind cord.’
Bronwyn had only been on her own for a matter of minutes when she became stuck, after parents Cathy, 42, and Matthew Taylor, 40, took their other two children to the theatre.
The inquest heard recent campaigns by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents had seen changes made to the law.
But many homes still have blinds bought a number of years earlier.
Mr James added: ‘A new standard has been introduced, and subsequently updated, which addresses the blind cord safety campaign.
‘New blinds must be safe by design or supplied with the appropriate child safety devices, which must be installed.
‘This means where there is a loop present or where one could be created, a safety device must be installed at the point of manufacture.
‘These safety devices either break up the pressure or the tension of the cord or chain, or provide the facility to store them out of reach.
‘Professional installers must fit these devices.
‘Unfortunately while these toddlers are mobile, physically their heads still weigh proportionately more than their bodies and their muscular control is not fully developed.
‘This means children of that age are therefore far more susceptible, and in a shorter period of time, to strangulation, which is what has tragically happened here.’
In a statement, Bronwyn’s grandmother Shirley Taylor explained the accident happened while she had been outside for a matter of minutes and her husband, Barry – who had to be taken to hospital following the incident – was asleep.
She said: ‘Barry had gone to bed as he always had an afternoon sleep. I went into the kitchen and Bronwyn came in with me.
‘I pointed at the oven and said ‘burn’ even though it wasn’t on and she went off into the living room.
‘I put some stuff in the washer and the tumble dryer and went into the garden.
‘I came back in looking for Bronwyn and went into a bedroom where I found her with the cord under her chin.
‘I picked her up and shook her. I rushed into the living and gave her mouth to mouth.
‘Barry assisted but was also taken ill and to hospital as a consequence of what happened.
‘The blind goes from the ceiling to the floor and the cord is always tied up by the drawers.
‘I couldn’t understand how it came off the drawers. It was an accident that needn’t have happened.’
Devastated father Matthew said at the time: ‘Our whole world has been blown apart. Parents should never have to bury their child.
‘My mum and dad have been blaming themselves but we don’t blame them. It was a freak accident. We are all devastated.
‘She was adored by everyone. So many people would come over to her wherever we were and say hello. Bronwyn was a little star.
‘But then reality hits me and I realise she is never coming back.’
RIP little one.
Safety tips via Kidsafe
•Check all the rooms in your house for any blinds or curtains with long cords that are either loose or looped. This includes any cords that are within children’s reach at floor level or near furniture they can climb on.
•Secure any lose or looped cords with cleats or tension devices – these can be purchased from your local curtain and blind retailer or hardware store.
•Do not put furniture such as cots, beds, highchairs, playpens, couches, chairs, tables or bookshelves near a window where children can reach the blind or curtain cord.
•When installing new blinds and curtains, make sure you or the installer secures any loose or looped cords immediately.
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