‘Our little boy nearly died...’

12-541    Zoe Marland and son Xavier, five, at their home in Gadebridge, Hemel Hempstead.       They are holding a blind similar to the one that endangered Xavier.    Zoe says that the safety 'easy break' feature on blind cords don't work.
12-541 Zoe Marland and son Xavier, five, at their home in Gadebridge, Hemel Hempstead. They are holding a blind similar to the one that endangered Xavier. Zoe says that the safety 'easy break' feature on blind cords don't work.

A MUM tormented by guilt after a freak accident almost claimed her young son’s life has spoken out in support of a campaign to highlight the dangers of dangling blind cords which can be killers.

Zoe Marland, 32, of Gadebridge Road in Hemel Hempstead, blamed herself after finding her son dangling with a blind cord wrapped around his neck.

Youngster Xavier Marland, now five, was just 2 and a half years old when he became trapped in the dangling cords while playing in his bedroom.

Zoe rescued her little boy by holding him up to support his body while shouting for help from her husband Lee, 41, who was asleep in bed at the time because he works nights as a postal sorter for Royal Mail.

Woken by his wife’s screams, Lee rushed to help by ripping the blind down and took over supporting his upset son, while Zoe untangled him

Zoe said: “It is still so fresh in my memory, hearing him screaming out: ‘Help me, help me, I’m stuck.’

“As a mother, for days after this narrow miss, I felt so sad and strongly blamed myself.”

“I was in utter shock because I couldn’t believe it had happened.”

Fortunately, Xavier – pictured right with his mum – was not seriously hurt by the ordeal and did not need hospital treatment.

“I thought it was my fault until I found out about Harrison’s Law and I felt like I couldn’t blame myself any more,” said Zoe.

Harrison’s Law is a campaign calling for a ban of corded blinds and promoting child safety awareness in and out of the home.

It is being backed by the parents of Harrison Guy Joyce who died in February 2010 after being strangled by a cord at his Staffordshire home.

And there have been tragedies closer to Zoe’s Hemel Hempstead home too.

Two-year-old Arthur Winfield, of Summer Walk in Markyate died in January in a similar incident.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, has campaigned for the blind industry to reduce the risks of looped cords since 2004 and it is hoped that legislation will finally be in place later this year.

Since hearing about the campaigns and other incidents, doting mum Zoe is determined to do something to raise awareness. “I don’t think people are aware of the hidden danger,” she said.