According to The Province, six BC children fell from unsafe windows and balconies during the past week. Some of the six children are suffering with serious brain trauma and broken limbs according to BC Children’s Hospital.
A team of BC doctors and paramedics are teaming up to prevent child falls by raising awareness and issuing warnings. With more dry weather in the forecast, parents are jeopardizing the lives of their children by keeping windows and balcony doors open.
How to Prevent Child Falls
- Windows that open no wider than a fist require a lock. Window screens do not prevent falls. The screen’s sole use is to keep bugs out, not keep children in.
- Caregivers need to make sure furniture is not pushed up next to an open window or balcony at home or at homes they visit.
- Never leave your children unattended on balconies, decks or near unsafe windows.
- Don’t underestimate your child’s mobility; they crawl before they walk.
- Discourage your children from climbing onto furniture to peer out windows.
- Install window guards on all windows and/or fasten the windows so that they can’t open more than 10 centimetres.
“Accidents can happen quickly, so you need to eliminate the risk before the fact,” according to Dr. Singhal, a pediatric neurosurgeon and medical director at Children’s Hospital trauma program. Falls are the leading cause of child hospitalization in Canada.
The message is clear – all child falls are preventable.
For more information:
- Doctors, paramedics issue joint warning after children fall from windows or balconies, The Province
- Child and youth injury prevention: A public health approach, Canadian Pediatric Society