(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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Mountain Pineapple defers application for new cannabis store in Rossland

The application was originally going to be reviewed by city council on May 19

Morning start: Rossland is named after this person

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 22

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Fact: B.C. bats don’t carry or spread COVID

BC Annual Bat Count goes this summer, citizens encouraged to take part

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read