Girl died on first day at nursery after playground accident


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The Independent Online

Police have named a three-year-old girl who died when she became entangled in playground equipment on her first day at a nursery.

Lydia Bishop suffered serious injuries in the outdoor play area at the York College Day Nursery yesterday afternoon.

A joint investigation has been launched into the incident, which police said they were not treating as suspicious.

Emergency services were called at 2.35pm yesterday and Lydia was taken to York District Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

North Yorkshire Police said it was believed to be Lydia's first day at the nursery.

Her death was described as "absolutely devastating" by the college.

Alison Birkinshaw, York College principal, said: "Clearly this is absolutely devastating news for the child's family and everyone at York College.

"Our thoughts are with the family, the children, families and staff associated with the nursery and everyone affected by this incident.

"We are doing all we can to assist the authorities with their inquiries and we will also do our utmost to support everybody involved as best as we can."

Dr Birkinshaw said York College staff acted immediately and called emergency services after Lydia suffered serious injuries in the nursery play area.

Joe Cocker, City of York Safeguarding Children Board (CYSCB) manager, said: "It is impossible to imagine what the parents must be going through, and my thoughts are with the family at what is an extremely difficult and upsetting time.

"They are currently being supported by specially-trained officers from North Yorkshire Police and it would be appreciated if their privacy is respected as they try and come to terms with their loss.

"This also is a very difficult time for the staff at the nursery and everyone at York College."

Mr Cocker said a multi-agency investigation, involving North Yorkshire Police, CYSCB, Ofsted and the Health and Safety Executive, was under way into the circumstances of Lydia's death.

He said: "The CYSCB is working closely with partners to co-ordinate the inquiries of the various agencies in order to understand what happened and why it happened.

"Most importantly, at this stage, there is a need to ensure that support is provided to the family, the families of children who attend the nursery and the nursery staff."

A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "At this stage, police do not believe there are any suspicious circumstances and it appears that the girl has become entangled in a piece of play equipment.

"The police are carrying out an investigation into the incident to establish exactly what happened and would like anyone who was in the area at the time to contact them."

The nursery opened in 2007 and provides full daycare provision for children aged between six weeks and five years.

An Ofsted inspection carried out in September 2009 said the overall quality of provision at the nursery was good and described the outdoor facilities as "superb".

The inspector said in the report: "Risk assessments, which cover the indoor and outdoor environment of the nursery, reduce the possibility of accidents. Children are taught to be safety conscious and they show a sound understanding of how to keep themselves safe."