Windows and balconies may be lovely ways to beat the summer heat, but they are also almost as dangerous as swimming pools when it comes to potential accidents, especially with toddlers.
Two toddlers around 2 years old are currently in the hospital (one with life-threatening injuries) after falling from second-floor balconies in two separate incidents, one in Texas and one outside of Boston.
This isn't a new phenomenon and, much like they are in swimming pools, children should be supervised carefully when they're near open windows or on balconies.
As someone who has a 2-year-old, I know how curious they are and how they are always poking around. My son seems to have very little common sense when it comes to things that will potentially hurt him and, although these children fell from balconies, children can also fall just as easily off of chairs or out of windows.
So how do we protect our kids from falls?
- Supervise, supervise, supervise!
- Install window guards. "For windows above the first floor, install window guards with an emergency release device in case of fire," according to Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin Coalition.
- Keep windows locked and closed.
- Keep furniture away from windows so kids cannot use them as ladders or ways to reach.
- Keep double-hung windows (ones that open down from the top as well as from the bottom) only open on top.
- Screens alone do not offer enough protection.
As summer draws to a close, let's keep the toddlers (and all kids) safe from falls. My heart goes out to the families involved and I hope both little ones recover.
Do you have any advice to add?
Image via the sea the sea/Flickr