(Andrew Seaman/Flickr)

How to stop your child from falling from a window or balcony

Between 2010 and 2016, 132 children were treated at B.C. trauma centres for window or balcony falls

  • May. 13, 2019 4:00 p.m.

Four children have been admitted to BC Children’s Hospital already this spring after falling from windows.

The hospital’s surgical trauma director, Dr. Robert Baird, is encouraging parents to keep a keen eye on their children’s safety, especially as the weather will only get warmer.

“Screens keep bugs out, but do not keep children in,” Baird said. “The younger a child is, the higher their centre of gravity and the more likely they are to fall head-first through a screen or window.”

Toddlers between the ages of one and four are at a high risk for window falls as they curiously explore their environment.

Windows that open greater than 10 centimeters are considered a risk for injury, Baird said. The best approach is to install a window guard or fastener, which can be found at pharmacies and dedicated toddler stores.

In the case of a fall, Baird advises to assess a child’s level of consciousness, and if they are not responding normally, to call 911. Any child falling greater than five feet with symptoms such as a loss of consciousness or vomiting should be immediately assessed.

READ MORE: Richmond toddler in serious condition after falling from third-storey window

Here are a few more tips:

  • Don’t underestimate a child’s ability to move around. They start climbing before they can walk.
  • Move furniture and household items away from windows to discourage children from climbing.
  • Don’t rely on window screens.
  • Install window guards on windows above ground level or fasten the windows so they don’t open more than 10 centimetres. Either way, ensure the window has a safe release option in case of a house fire.
  • Don’t leave kids unattended on balconies or decks. Move furniture or planters away from the edges to keep kids from climbing them.
  • Talk to your kids about the dangers of opening and playing near windows, particularly on upper floors

Between 2010 and 2016, 132 children were treated at trauma centres around B.C. after they fell from a window or balcony. About 85 per cent of them were kids between the ages of one and six, according to the BC Trauma Registry.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Pride crosswalk too expensive to install says municipal council

Mayor and council have asked staff to investigate whether a bench with a plaque supporting the LGBTQ+ community is feasible

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience the ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Most Read