BCEHS reminds parents of window safety

Emergency officials release these tips to make windows safe through the summer

  • May. 23, 2017 11:10 a.m.

An open window can keep your home cool on a hot day, but it can also put your family at risk.

Nearly 150 children, most aged one to six, were treated at trauma centres around B.C. after falling from a window or balcony between 2009 and 2015, according to BC Trauma Registry data.

Last June, a four-year-old boy died after falling from a third-floor window of a Langley home.

“From broken bones to severe bleeding in the brain, these types of falls can be life-altering for everyone involved,” said Dr. Ash Singhal, a pediatric neurosurgeon and the medical director of the BC Children’s Hospital trauma program, in a release. “I’ve seen it first-hand and have operated on numerous children with brain injuries from window and balcony falls. Parents always say the same thing: I wish I had known; I wish I could go back and prevent it.”

Led by their natural curiosity, children can open unlocked windows and toddlers, with high centres of gravity, can fall head-first through a window screen if they lean on it.

“It is heart-breaking that window falls involving toddlers and young children happen too often every spring and summer,” said Marilyn Oberg, a paramedic with BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), in the release. “Fortunately for parents and caregivers, falls from windows or balconies are easily preventable by following our safety tips that help keep children out of harm’s way during the hot weather season.

BCEHS has released a list of safety tips for parents and others with children in their homes, in partnership with BC Children’s Hospital and the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC.

Tips to prevent falls from windows and balconies:

◗ 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.

◗ Be particularly mindful of toddlers, who may climb on anything to get higher.

◗ Remember that window screens will not prevent children from falling through. They keep bugs out – not children in.

◗ 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 (four inches).

Just Posted

Today’s Road conditions and weather report

Quesnel River River Bridge undergoing maintenance now until 4 a.m. tomorrow morning, falling rocks Spences Bridge to Jackass

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Power back on for all residences in Quesnel area

Hydro crews cleaned up three outages last night, and turned power back on for fourth one today. KAREN POWELL PHOTO

FHL: Bear wins again over BCS with dramatic goal

Steve Dodge brings us all the highlights from the FHL

Highway 97 has slippery sections both north and south of Quesnel

Motorists will have to drive to road conditions and drive with caution

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Most Read