Hanging tragedy toddler’s death accidental

14:08 23 February 2012

Two-year-old Emily Warner died in December last year

Two-year-old Emily Warner died in December last year

Archant

THE parents of a Royston toddler who died after being strangled by a blind cord did all that they could to save her, an inquest heard on Thursday (February 23).

Two-year-old Emily Warner, who lived in Royston, died on December 1 last year at Addenbrooks Hospital, more than three months after the incident at her parents’ home.

Hatfield Coroner Edward Thomas described at the inquest how Emily was found by her dad, Jamie, at their home in Ackroyd Road.

Mr Thomas, who told Emily’s family he would not be hearing any evidence at the inquest, said that on August 25 of last year, Mr Warner had gone upstairs to check on his daughter.

It was here he found her in her bedroom entangled in the cord.

Emily’s parents back campaign

THE parents of the two-year-old have backed a campaign, which was launched today.

The campaign, which is also supported by coroner Edward Thomas, is to raise awareness of the dangers of looped blind cords and chains.

Called the Safe Blinds Campaign, it has been launched by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Emily’s father, Jamie, said: “We don’t want other families to suffer in the same way we have.

“By taking some simple steps with your blinds you can protect your children.”

The campaign is backed by the county’s police and council.

Cabinet member for children’s services, Richard Roberts, said: “It is hard to imagine the pain that Emily’s parents must be feeling. I am very grateful that they have felt able to come forward and use their own personal tragedy as warning to others.”

Advice includes buying cleats which fix the chain to the wall, or a safety tassel.

To find out more, visit www.rospa.com

“He heard at about 6.15pm Emily playing in her bedroom upstairs which was quite usual,” Mr Thomas said.

“He then went to check on Emily, and that was when he saw her on the windowsill on tip toes. He realised there was something wrong, she did not respond to him. He went closer and saw the curtain cord around her neck.”

Mr Warner then tried to perform CPR on Emily, and shouted for his wife, Tracy. An ambulance was called just before 6.30pm.

Emily was taken to Addenbrooks Hospital, where she stayed for most of the three months leading up to her death.

As a result of the incident, she suffered brain damage, and spent most of the time in intensive care.

Mr Thomas, who had received statements from police, paramedics and doctors, but did not read any out in full, also said that the toddler had spent some time at Tadworth Court Children’s Hospital in Surrey, before being moved back to Addenbrooks.

He told Mr and Mrs Warner that they had done all they could to save her.

“I would like to say that you did everything possible, there was nothing else you could have done. I cannot say anything other than commend you on the efforts to resuscitate Emily,” he said.

“People often feel ‘I wish I could have done something else’, but you did everything right.”

He added: “I can’t begin to understand how awful this must be. Emily seemed like a lovely child.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Warner said: “We’ve grieved twice, because first she had this accident, then she died in December, so we were just getting over one thing.

“Our family has been broken. Emmie was the light of our lives, such a wonderful little girl.”

A verdict of accidental death was recorded, as a result of complications arising from the brain damage.

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