Girl who died after British Bulldog suffered injury similar to being punched by a boxer

We covered this British bulldog incident at the weekend but the Telegraph has a report from the inquest saying the eight-year-old girl who died after the playground collision suffered such a massive blow to her liver it was like she had been punched by a boxer…

Freya James fell onto the disused wooden sleeper, which ruptured her liver, after a boy swerved to avoid another pupil and ran into her in the playground.

She died from internal bleeding after suffering major damage to her liver, likened to the impact of being punched by a boxer.

Dr Andreas Marnerides, a pathologist at St Thomas’ Hospital in London told the inquest her injuries were caused by a “blunt force” and appeared to have been caused by Freya falling on the sleeper, but could have happened if she fell on a flat playground.

He said: “The kind of trauma I have seen here required a very high impact like a boxer throwing a punch.”

Dr Marnerides said the injuries would not have been caused by the two children colliding.

The jury at West London Coroner’s Court was told Freya had been playing a tag-based game, called Jails, in the playground of Trafalgar Junior School in Twickenham, south west London, on February 14.

Coroner Jeremy Chipperfield said: “There were a number of items of play equipment, furniture such as chairs, and some recycled railway sleepers. A number of staff supervise lunch play.

“There were a number of games going on, among them a game called Bulldog, and Jails, and Freya was playing Jails.

“At about 1.15pm, there was a collision between a boy who was playing Bulldog, and Freya.

“They were in different years, and may well not even have known each other to talk to.

“As a result, she fell, and in falling struck one of the sleepers that was in the playground.”

A teaching assistant saw Freya sitting on the floor and asked her what was wrong, and the child told her she had hurt her tummy. Freya then walked to a first aid room and an ambulance was called.

She was taken to West Middlesex University Hospital at about 2pm but died just before 4pm.

More at:  Girl who died after British Bulldog suffered injury similar to being punched by a boxer

As more emerges it seems this is perhaps less about whether British bulldog is too dangerous (because this seems to have been a surprise collision between children playing different games) and more, perhaps, about issues to do with keeping children who are running around in separate areas to avoid collisions they are not expecting. But is that realistic in a busy playground? Please let us know what you think in the comments or on twitter…

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Categories: Health.


  1. hecharden

    SchoolsImprove My son ‘s school has an extra class due to local shortage of places. Extra temp classroom built but playground not expanded.

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