Baby Strangled By Blind Cord Hanging Next To Her Cot

11/11/2010 14:22 | Updated 22 May 2015

A baby girl died after becoming strangled by the cord of a blind hanging next to the cot she shared with her twin brother.

The body of Leah Edwards, just 17 months old, was discovered by her older brother Christian, seven.

Parents Joy and Andrew battled to resuscitate her before paramedics arrived at their home in Heybridge, close to Maldon in Essex.

But baby Leah was pronounced dead soon after arriving at Broomfield Hospital in nearby Chelmsford.

Heartbroken Mrs Edwards, 35, urged parents to be extra vigilant about blinds, which are in millions of homes in Britain. She also called for the blinds with looped cords – banned in America, Canada and Australia – to be withdrawn here.

She said: "We did tie them up but not all the time. I'd just urge people to tie them up and be wary."

The mum of four revealed how she had put Leah and brother Lewis down following a morning feed. She said: "We put her to bed the night before and she woke at 5.30am.

"I gave her and Lewis their bottles, put on music and normally they'd go back to sleep. For them not to be awake in the morning was not unusual. But Christian came in and said Leah had something around her neck. I bolted out of bed, lifted her up and shouted at Andrew to call 999."

She and Andrew, 47, who have another daughter Emily, five, gave Leah the kiss of life. Mrs Edwards said: "She was a very placid girl, she was so alert and intelligent.

"She had a gorgeous little smile – she was my little dolly.

"For the first week after her death, I just couldn't sleep. It has been devastating. I keep going over the 'what ifs'. What if I'd got up earlier? What if we'd not had blinds with cords?"

Police ruled Leah's death on October 10 was a tragic accident. An inquest has been adjourned.

Leah is the fifth child to die in the UK this year after getting caught in a looped blind cord.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is trying to raise awareness of the dangers.

Andrew Haigh, a coroner for South Staffordshire, in May urged the Government to look again at safety regulations after two toddlers died within five days of each other.

Harrison Joyce, three, and Lillian Bagnall-Lambe, 16 months, died in February in separate incidents after being tangled in cords.

Mr Haigh said: "The frequency of deaths of this kind is more of a problem than we would expect. The children were left in circumstances that appeared to be safe."A BABY girl has died after being strangled by the cord of a blind hanging next to the cot she shared with her twin brother.

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