Despite the weather warming up, advocates are warning parents to keep windows secure to prevent children from getting hurt.
Fifteen children were rushed to BC Children’s Hospital for falls from windows or balconies last year, according to the Community Against Preventable Injuries.
Ian Pike with the Vancouver-based organization, told Black Press Media that most of the children injured from these kinds of falls are under the age of six.
“This is not to point fingers at parents,” Pike said. “Parents are careful, safety-conscious people – we know that. But sometimes, they need a reminder of things that they already know to do.”
Children are curious and good climbers, and they can get into trouble if precautions aren’t taken, Pike said.
Suggestions include installing window guards that prevent the glass from opening wider than 10 centimetres, keeping household items that can be climbed away from windows and ledges, and never leaving kids unattended on balconies or decks.
Nearly 250 children under the age of 14 were hospitalized for a window fall from 2010 and 2016, the organization said. The main kinds of injuries were fractures, followed by injuries to the head, shoulder and upper arm. Roughly 65 per cent were boys.
“In the event that they do fall, do not assume that things are okay. Call 911 to keep the child in the place where they fell and keep them with an airway that’s open,” Pike said, even if the kid gets up and moves around.
“There could be a spinal injury, and any movement, particularly rotations of the head or trunk, could make the problem worse.”