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4-Year Old Accidentally Hangs Herself With Hairband

By Debra Myers     Mar 21, 2008 in World
Yesterday, Phil Brown retold the story of how his four-year old daughter had hung herself in her bedroom while playing. He and his wife found their daughter Paige hanging from a hammock on New Years Day. The inquest was held at Ashford Coroner's Court.
Hawkinge, Kent - Coroner Rachel Redman has recorded the verdict of accidental death for Paige, after hearing evidence from the pathologist, the police officer who investigated, and Paige's father.
Paige's father told the court about how on that day, Paige was playing in her room, in the family home in Hawkinge, near Folkestone, Kent. Their daughter came downstairs, upset that she could not get a hairband untied from the hammock which was used to store her stuffed toys. She had told her parents "it was in a tight knot".
Mr. Brown told the court that, "She was quite frantic so we went upstairs to have a look."
He went on to say that neither he nor his wife could get the knot undone, so he had suggested getting some lunch and then they would try again. As they prepared the meal, they realized that Paige hadn't followed them to the kitchen. He called for Paige but did not get an answer.
He said: "I went upstairs and she was hung. She had hanged herself with her hairband around her neck. Her feet were slightly off the floor, she was standing on her tiptoes."
Mr. Brown said he took his daughter down and tried to get her back, all the while calling for his wife, Lou.
999 was called and Paige was rushed to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, and pronounced dead.
Mr. Brown said that he believes that what happened was that Paige had stood on a stool to reach the hairband and had slipped off the stool. He said that she couldn't have been alone for more than "five minutes or so" before he went to find her.
Dr Charles Lawson, the consultant pathologist told the court that she had died of compression of the neck due to suspension. Marks that were found on Paige's hands and fingers possibly indicate that she did struggle, but once she couldn't breathe, she fell unconscious.
Detective Sergeant Chris Benson, who investigated Paige's death said subsequent examinations of the family's home showed that there was "no obvious hazard to any child or persons in there".
Ms. Redman described this as a freakish accident that happened in "a very ordinary little girl's bedroom".
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