(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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino mayor urges “kindness” as tourism reopens

“Health and safety matters to everyone.”

Resorts in Tofino and Ucluelet prepare to reopen in June

“We need to get the tourist economy in our communities back up and running.”

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve plans limited reopening on June 4

The Park Reserve shut down on March 18 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Pacific Rim Hospice Society gifting free wellness “check-ins” to all West Coast residents

“This pandemic has led to a lot of isolation and it’s helpful for anybody just to have a soundboard.”

Accident, downed power lines closes Highway 4 west of Port Alberni

Detour is available near Hector Road as BC Hydro crews work to restore power

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Most Read