Number of kids rushed to BC Children’s after fall from windows doubles

Fifteen kids were brought to BC Children’s Hospital from May-September 2017 after these falls

The number of children treated at BC Children’s Hospital after falling from a window or balcony more than doubled during the warmer months in 2017, compared to the previous year.

That’s according to new numbers released Friday by the BC Trauma Registry.

Fifteen children were brought to the hospital’s emergency room between May and September 2017, compared to seven during the same months the year before.

“As the warmer season approaches, I strongly urge parents and caregivers to take precautions to ensure their windows and balconies are safely secure to prevent tragedies and keep our children safe,” said Dr. Ash Singhal, pediatric neurosurgeon and medical director of BC Children’s trauma program.

Between 2010 and 2016, 132 children were treated at trauma centres across B.C. after falling from a window or balcony, with about 85 per cent of them between the ages of one and six.

READ MORE: Child taken to hospital after falling out window of Abbotsford home

READ MORE: Child falls out of window in Langley City

BC Emergency Health Service paramedic Marilyn Oberg said it takes just “a little bit of safeguarding work” to keep children safe when the windows and doors are open.

So far this month, already two children have been reported to have from a window in the Lower Mainland.

A child in Langley fell from the top floor of a four-storey building and managed to land in some bushes. A two-year-old boy in Abbotsford was found by emergency crews lying on concrete eight feet below the window of a home. Both children survived

“It’s tragic that each year as we get into the warmer months, we see young children falling from windows and balconies,” Oberg said.

BC Children’s Hospital and emergency officials are offering tips for parents and caregivers to prevent falls:

  • Don’t underestimate a child’s mobility. Children begin climbing before they can walk.
  • Move furniture and household items away from windows to discourage children from climbing to peer out.
  • Remember window screens will not prevent children from falling through.
  • Install window guards on windows above the ground level. These act as a gate in front of the window.
  • Alternatively, fasten your windows so that they cannot open more than 10 centimetres. Children can fit through spaces as small as 12 centimetres wide.
  • Ensure there is a safe release option for your windows in case of a house fire.
  • Do not leave children unattended on balconies or decks. Move furniture or planters away from the edges to keep kids from climbing up and over.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of opening and playing near windows, particularly on upper floors of the home or in a high-rise dwelling.

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alleged Okanagan sex offender arrested in P.E.I.

Offences occurred while Ivan Glen Winchester was living in Summerland between 2006 and 2010

Kelowna subdivision slope erosion fuels landslide fears

City says up to $1.2 million in slope remedial work is required this spring

Big White welcomes fresh powder

19 centimeters of snow has dropped at Big White within the last 24 hours

Kelowna’s temporary shelter may be open longer

If it doesn’t warm up, the shelter may stay open longer

Kelowna putting pressure on water purveyors to join its system

City won’t apply for grants for improvement districts unless they agree to amalgamate

Music Rundown: Who you should be watching play live this week

Fill your calendar this week with these great shows

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Golds basketball team tops rankings ahead of Okanagan Valley Championships

Salmon Arm team heads straight to semifinals after stellar season

UPDATE: Highway 97A reopened north of Vernon

Three people are in hospital following crash that has one in critical condition

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

School district facing capacity challenges

Rising enrolment, outdated data and classroom changes prompt discussions

Parole angers parents of Okanagan manslaughter victim

Tal Kalum LaRiviere was arrested in Alberta Feb. 18. He had previously been granted day parole

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read