Toddler Survives Fall from Window
A two-year old was rushed to the hospital last month after falling from the third floor window of his family’s College Park apartment. Paramedics rushed the boy to the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, including a cut tongue.
Police say that the fall appears to have been accidental. They do not anticipate filing any charges.
“They had a bar on the window to keep him from opening it, but somehow he managed to get it open and fell out," said Kevin Hughes, the Clayton County police spokesman.
While the boy was thankfully unharmed, incidents like this highlight the importance of childproofing windows and supervising children. Not all children are as lucky as this boy; every year, children are seriously injured or killed because of unsafe windows.
The potential tragedy of children falling from windows was thrust into the public consciousness on March 20, 1991 when singer and performer Eric Clapton’s four-year old son, Conor, fell to his death from a 53rd story window. It is important not to let the lesson fade with time.
Children should be supervised when playing, and do not allow them to play near even closed windows. It is possible for a child to fall through the glass, which could possibly injure them even further.
Do not trust screens to save children if they should fall. Window screens are not designed for this, and most will not stand up to the weight of even a small child.
Consider installing landscaping features which might help break a fall under dangerous windows, if possible. Some bushes or shrubs may help cushion a child who accidentally falls from a window. This may not be an option for those who live in apartments, of course, but for home owners, it could make a significant difference.
Parents should discourage children from climbing to windows by removing furniture which might tempt them or facilitate them.
If possible, consider installing windows which open from the top rather than the bottom, making it difficult for small children to reach them alone.
Be aware of what windows you will wish to open for ventilation, and plan your safety measures around that.
There is also an array of products available to help childproof windows. If it is possible, parents should consider using locks or wedges to keep children from being able to open windows more than a few inches.
If you live above the seventh floor of a building, you may consider installing permanent window guards. Below that, you may consider guards which can be opened by adults or older children in the event of a fire.
Research your options so that your childproofing choices match your safety needs, lifestyle, and living environment. If you are constantly opening locks or removing guards because they get in your way, then they cannot serve their purpose effectively.
Properly childproofed windows can mean the difference between life and death for children. Parents understandably often prefer not contemplate this but your forethought can save your children from injury or worse.