Grandparents John and Judy Price have issued a warning to other families because they believe a fox was prowling by a rooflight window beneath which their two-year-old granddaughter Marianna was sleeping.

The couple are convinced the animal climbed on to the roof of their chalet bungalow in Burbage and thank their lucky stars that the rooflight in the toddler’s room had been left open no wider than an inch-and-a-half.

Mrs Price, of Burroughs Drove, has written an article in the village newsletter Burbage News warning other families about the incident and advising them to make sure their windows are fox-proof.

Mrs Price told the Gazette she did not want be alarmist but had spoken out in the light of documented fox attacks on people, particularly the incident in east London on June 8 2010 when a fox attacked nine-month-old twins.

On the night of the Burbage incident the couple’s sleep was disturbed by what Mrs Price described as “a massive noise”.

“It was unbelievable and we did not know what was going on,” she said. “It was too much noise for anyone trying to break in. It was a very loud scrabbling noise and we did not know where it was coming from.”

Three days later, after their visiting family had left, they heard the noise again.

Mrs Price said: “When my husband flung open the window the security light came on and he saw a vixen running across the lawn into the bushes.”

The grandmother said: “The window was right above the travel cot that Marianna was asleep in. Fortunately the window had been almost closed for the night, but I still feel sick at the thought of what might have happened.”