(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

Tofino athletes Devries, Olin selected for Surf Canada Olympic pathway team

“We’ve got a lot of work to do before any of us qualify for the Olympics.”

Port Alberni’s RE/MAX Ride the Rim cyclists pedal into Ucluelet

“I did it for the children and for the love of the sport.”

Surfrider cheers ocean friendly businesses in Tofino and Ucluelet

Surfrider Pacific Rim is pushing for an ocean friendly, plastic-free, peninsula.

Ucluelet First Nation elects new Legislature

“We have to reevaluate where we’re going.”

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read