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The quick-thinking actions of a five-year-old girl have been saluted after she witnessed her mum fall down the stairs and remain unconscious for more than 15 minutes.

Scarlett Neill has been praised by her parents and school after calmly speaking to the emergency services following the accident to her mum, Sam.

She also called her dad, Joe, and looked after her younger brother, Harvey, before paramedics arrived at their home in Glemsford.

Sam, who suffered sprains and bruises to her neck, hip and ribs but has now made a full recovery, paid tribute to her daughter.

She said: “I was carrying Harvey down the stairs when I missed the second step and fell to the bottom.”I hugged Harvey tightly so he would land on me, but i was knocked unconscious. The next thing I knew, I had woken up and Scarlett was talking to the ambulance crew. “I was worried about Harvey, but Scarlett told me to stay still and that everything was fine.”

Unbeknown to Sam, Scarlett had taken upon herself to call her dad to tell him that “mum had fallen asleep at the bottom of the stairs” before taking a call from the emergency services.

She also made sure Harvey was calm, in front of the television, before the paramedics arrived.

Sam said: “Scarlett was amazing – the front door was locked so she even had to tell the ambulance the best way to the back door.

“It surprised me how calm she kept but I think she knew I needed help. There were tears down her face, but you wouldn’t know she had been crying.”

Sam also wanted to use the incident as a lesson for others and said she was relieved that she had decided never to lock her mobile phone and also educate Scarlett what to do in case of an emergency.

Scarlett’s actions were recognised in a special assembly at Glemsford Primary School where she was presented with a ‘Glemsford Angels’ award
Headteacher Ben Jeffery said: “We were blown away to hear how brave and mature Scarlett had been in such a worrying time.

“When we celebrated Scarlett`s achievement in assembly, we played the recording of the phone call and it was an inspiration and emotional moment. We are all very proud of Scarlett and pleased that Mum has recovered.”

The Glemsford Angels are a group of local people committed to improving community life for the residents of Glemsford.

Fiona Dinning-Cole, chairman, said: “I was honoured to award a Glemsford Angel to an outstanding young person.

“Scarlett Neill is a star who showed such resourcefulness in her family’s time of need.”