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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 16:35 GMT
Parents talk of 'beautiful girl'
Muireann McLaughlin
Muireann died after becoming tangled in a window blind cord
The family of a two-year-old girl who died after becoming tangled in a window blind cord have paid tribute to their "loving" child.

Angus and Kate McLaughlin said they were devastated at the loss of their "inquisitive" and "articulate" daughter.

Muireann McLaughlin was found in her bedroom in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire by her father on Tuesday.

She was taken to Stirling Royal Infirmary but was pronounced dead.

Police have described the incident as a "tragic accident".

In a joint statement, issued through Central Scotland Police, the couple said the toddler was due to have started nursery after the summer and that her loss had left a huge hole in the family.

She brought so much joy to all our lives and her loss has left us simply devastated
Angus and Kate McLaughlin

They said: "Muireann was a beautiful, happy little girl who was full of life.

"She was inquisitive, sociable and articulate with a great imagination and loved making up characters for her toy figures and giving them voices and stories to act out."

The couple said Muireann had loved dancing and the music played at church.

They added that she was a "very loving child who adored her older brother and sister".

'Shocked and saddened'

"They adored her as well and she loved giving kisses and cuddles," the statement said.

"She brought so much joy to all our lives and her loss has left us all simply devastated. At this moment it is difficult to quantify but her loss has left a huge hole in our family."

The couple said they were a private family and asked for their privacy to be respected while they grieved for Muireann.

A report into the circumstances of the incident is due to be submitted to the procurator fiscal at Alloa, as is standard procedure with any sudden death.

Stirling Royal Infirmary
Muireann was taken to Stirling Royal Infirmary

A spokeswoman for Clackmannanshire Council said the local authority was providing support to pupils and staff at Menstrie Primary school where Muireann's brother and sister attended.

She said: "Clackmannanshire Council would like to express our sympathies to the family of Muireann McLaughlin who died yesterday in a tragic accident at home.

"The community is shocked and saddened by the events. The council is providing support to the primary school attended by Muireann's siblings."

Roger Vincent, spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said one or two children became entangled in a similar way every year in the UK.

He said: "It is a terrible tragedy, but sadly it is one we have heard of in the past.

"Unfortunately this is the kind of hazard that people don't think about in their own homes.

"Loops and cords can pose a threat to children and they may be quite common around people's homes.

"Our advice is that parents cut the loops on the cords and try to keep them out of the reach of children.

"In an ideal world manufacturers wouldn't produce blinds and curtains with loop cords."



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