(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

Former runaway teen helps find missing youths through social media

Alex Meikle created the Facebook group Greater Victoria Missing & Runaway Teens

Cloudy skies, showers ahead for Monday

Plus a look ahead at your week

Candidate Corner: Cowichan-Malahat-Langford hopefuls talk environment and climate change

This is part one of a four-part series outlining candidates’ thoughts on key topics

Character of the community revealed in new Oak Bay track mural

Artist Luke Ramsey marches along with latest public work

Sidney could take additional action around speculation tax

Council to consider steps later this fall after staff review of provincial statistics

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read