A 16-month-old girl has died after she strangled herself in a window blind cord while playing with a toy vacuum cleaner at her grandparents’ home.
Bronwyn Taylor was in the conservatory when she got her neck caught inside a beaded cord loop and fell over.
The toddler was found by her grandmother, 66-year-old retired nurse Shirley Taylor, who desperately tried to resuscitate her.
Ambulance crews were called to the house in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, after receiving a 999 call at 3.30pm on Saturday and took the girl to hospital.”The light in the middle of our family has gone out. Bronwyn was so precious and had her whole life ahead of her” – Cathy Taylor
However, Bronwyn suffered a cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead when she arrived at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Bronwyn was being looked after by her grandparents while her parents went to the theatre with their two elder children to watch the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Her parents Matthew, 40, and 42-year-old Cathy urged families to install safety devices to all curtain cords to prevent similar tragedies.
Mr Taylor, who runs a heating engineering firm with his wife in Basford, Staffordshire, said: “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.
“The boys shouldn’t have had to go through this, but they’ve been fantastic and they wanted to see her. They have been absolute troopers.
“When I saw her at the hospital I looked at her, stroked her head and gave her a little kiss. I placed my hand on her head in the hope I had some power to wake her up but nothing happened.
“We sat and cuddled her for three or four hours and friends and family members arrived and gave her a cuddle too. Everyone has been ripped apart by this.”
Brownwyn was being looked after by her grandparents, Barry and Shirley, on Saturday along with Matthew’s 16-year-old son Boden, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Matthew and Cathy took their other two sons, Dylan, 10, and Owen, 10, who are from different relationships, to the theatre to watch the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Mr Taylor added: “Bronwyn had been playing on the slide in the garden and went into the conservatory to play with a little toy hoover.
“We don’t know exactly what happened but somehow she got the blinds, which were on a shelf above the floor, wrapped around her neck. Either the blind cord came down or Bronwyn reached up and knocked it down, we just don’t know.
“My mum was probably looking after Boden and had her back turned for a matter of minutes. It was an accident but we are so keen to warn other people of the dangers.
“If anything can come out of this it must be to warn other people to put safety catches on their blinds. We just want something to come from this.
“We can’t let what happened to be in vain. Life is so precious and people must make sure their surroundings are safe as best they can.
“But it is not just about blinds, it could happen with anything. People must make sure everything is child-proof as much as they can.
“If they have old blinds they must double check the cords are tied away or replace them with safety blinds.”
As a result of the tragedy, Bronwyn’s grandfather Barry, a retired printer, collapsed in shock and is being treated in hospital.
The family, who also lost a baby girl Megan last year who was stillborn, were told of the tragedy when police officers met them at the theatre on Saturday afternoon.
Mrs Taylor said: “The light in the middle of our family has gone out. Bronwyn was so precious and had her whole life ahead of her.
“She was a perfectly healthy and beautiful little girl and her life has been taken away from her.
“I was looking forward to watching all the Disney films with her, dress her up like a princess and do her hair. That’s gone because of a stupid little accident.”
Staffordshire Police are preparing a report into Bronwyn’s death for North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith.