CTV News Calgary Latest Videos
Paramedics provide advice to parents to help prevent falls from open windows
Published Monday, April 10, 2017 5:26PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, April 10, 2017 8:51PM MDT
Emergency responders are urging parents to take precautions after two children were injured on the weekend when they fell from a window onto the concrete sidewalk below.
A two-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after they fell about 8 metres from a window at a home in Redstone on Saturday afternoon.
The children were rushed to Alberta Children’s Hospital with head injuries.
Adam Loria is a public education officer with EMS and says paramedics receive several calls each year about children falling through windows.
“Every year when the weather gets warmer, people open their windows, they want to get some fresh air into their house, been a long winter, we do get a number of calls unfortunately involving children falling out of windows,” he said. “Kids are curious, they’re in their houses, they know it’s warm outside, they can hear other people outside, cars, other children playing, they want to see what’s going on.”
Loria says injuries can vary depending on how high the window is and what is below it. “Depending on what surface they land on, how high the fall is, it can be very serious if not fatal.”
He says direct supervision is the key but there are a number of other precautions parents can take to reduce the risk.
“We all know that these little ones, toddlers, school-aged kids, can get out of sight very quickly, within a number of seconds, so on top of that direct supervision, just ensure that their play area or areas that they frequent where they live, there’s nothing around the windows,” he said. “Chairs, beds, things to climb on, where they can actually get to that window level, have a look outside and then inadvertently put weight on that screen and obviously that’s when a fall will happen.”
Loria says new windows come with locks that can be popped into place and that homeowners can buy clips for older windows that limit how much it opens at almost any hardware store.
He says security bars will also work but they need to be easily unlocked if someone has to get out in a hurry.
“If you’re going to put up security bars, you have to make sure you have access to, or the ability to open those in case there’s an emergency to get out, so really something like this, a simple window blocker is what we recommend. They’re easy to, sort of, disengage, move if you want, take apart, so you can get that window open and out if you have to get out in an emergency.”
Loria says education is also important as some kids don’t realize how dangerous it is to put their weight against a window screen.
“Ensure that the child knows that these screens are placed to keep the bugs out. They’re not meant to keep people in or a child’s weight in so ensure that there’s safety and education around windows and screens and the benefits of them but how dangerous they can be as well.”
Over the past year, EMS received 400 calls for various types of falls involving children under the age of 10.
Police say the incident in Redstone is considered an accident and no charges will be laid.
There is no word the children's current condition.