PARENTS

Baby Died After Getting Wedged Between Mattress And Bunk Bed Ladder

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

Baby died after getting wedged between mattress and ladder on bunk bed

An eight-month-old baby died when she became wedged between a mattress and ladder while wriggling in her bunk bed.

Olivia-Leigh Picton had been sleeping in the bottom bunk for two months after a health visitor said she should be given her own room.

Her parents fitted a bed brace to ensure Olivia-Leigh didn't fall out of the bottom bunk, but the little girl somehow managed to wriggle between the bars of the ladder leading to the top bunk and got stuck against the mattress.

The freak accident just days before Christmas last year left Olivia-Leigh suspended from the bed by her neck.

She was found by her father as he was getting his other daughter ready for nursery.

Olivia-Leigh was rushed to hospital by ambulance but was pronounced dead despite attempts to revive her.

At an inquest in Burnley, Lancashire, Olivia-Leigh's devastated parents Katie Ross, 23, and David Picton, 24, warned other parents not to put young children in their own beds - especially bunk beds because of the dangers.

The hearing was told Olivia-Leigh had been given her own room as the couple's eldest daughter Ella-Mae, aged three, had difficulty sleeping properly when she was not in the same bedroom as her parents.

The couple did not want Olivia-Leigh to have the same habits as her sister so they decided to put her in her own room in the bottom bunk.

Katie told the inquest: "I didn't put Ella-Mae in her own bed and she got too attached to us. I wanted Olivia to be different and she was. She was in bed every night for 7pm and woke up a happy child.

"I spoke to my health visitor about it and she had a rule about putting them in their own room at six months.

"I asked her advice and that's when we came up with the bed brace so she couldn't fall out.

"One of them attaches underneath the mattress and fastens at the other side of the frame and sticks up at the end to stop her from falling.

"She had slept in the bunk for about two months. She had been doing really well and went down easily and found it better to fall asleep in that bed than the travel cot."

The night before her death on December 17, Olivia-Leigh was put to bed as usual at 7pm and 'went down fine'. She was found trapped in the bed at 8am the following morning.

Pathologist Dr Naomi Carter said the cause of death was from suspension of the neck and that there hadn't been any underlying natural disease owing to her death.

She said: "There was a number of external minor marks to the neck and shoulder, but very mild and were entirely consistent to where Olivia was found to be in a collapsed state. My opinion is that death was due to suspension by the neck.

"Olivia was previously well, she was essentially found wedged between the mattress with her body hanging over, essentially she was suspended by the neck."

East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a verdict of accidental death and told Olivia-Leigh's parents said: "There's nothing I can say that can make this any better at all.

"You were doing what you thought at the time was right, in hindsight that wasn't necessarily, but you can't apportion any blame. That was a judgement that you made.

"The appropriate verdict is one of accidental death. This was nothing more, nothing less than a tragic accident."

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