In the U.S., almost 5000 children fall from windows or balconies each year. In the past year, 23 children under five have fallen out of windows just in B.C. The Vancouver Sun reports of another tragic accident where a two-and-one half-year-old girl died after falling from the ninth floor of a condo balcony. A four year old was chasing a fly through her house in Mission and crashed through a window screen falling onto the concrete below. She is in a full body cast and her jaw is wired shut.
Summer months are more dangerous as warm weather leads to doors and windows being left open. “A window screen is not a safety device,”says Michelle Smith, spokesperson for Safe Kids Denver. She notes that screens are “designed to keep insects out, not keep children in and taking a few safety precautions may save your child from serious injury or death.
B.C. Children’s Hospital and the B.C. Ambulance Service provide these tips to ensure your windows are as safe as possible for your children:
- Don’t underestimate the mobility of your child,
- Always install window guards,
- Fasten windows so they cannot be opened more than four inches,
- Don’t leave children unattended on balconies or decks,
- Remove chairs or objects that are near windows and can be climbed,
- Always talk about the dangers of playing near windows with your children.
To protect your family, adequate supervision is always the best protection. But accidents can happen in seconds when your back is turned, so it’s important to take all reasonable steps to prevent injuries and keep our children safe in our homes.
For More Information:
- Toddler killed in fall from ninth-storey Surrey balcony, The Vancouver Sun
- Window screens donâ€™t stop kids from falling out, health officials warn, The Vancouver Sun
- Keeping Kids Safe Around Windows, Children’s Hospital Colorado
- How to create a child-friendly home, SafeKids Canada
- Warm weather increases risk of falls from windows, B.C. Children’s Hospital