Toddler's Terrifying 5-Story Fall Reminds Us of Window Safety

Julie Ryan Evans

Open WindowEarlier this week in New York, a 2-year-old girl was reportedly playing by a window when she fell five stories to the pavement below. Amazingly, an off-duty paramedic -- Willis Sands, 35 -- just so happened to be walking by and found her.

After his shock that it wasn't a baby doll lying there, he sprung into action. Sands told NBC:

I looked down and I saw the baby shaking. Blood underneath the baby. My main concern was the head and neck. And she was bleeding from the head and side of the face.

Fortunately he was able to stabilize her until emergency personnel arrived. His quick action may have saved her life, and she's said to be recovering now. But how terrifying to think of such a thing happening to a little child. Unfortunately, there are similar cases that happen across the county, and many children aren't as lucky.

According to the CPSC, falls from windows result in an average of about eight deaths yearly to children 5 years or younger, while approximately 3,300 children 5 and under are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. On average, about 34 percent required hospitalization after falling from a window.

These kinds of accidents are preventable, however, if parents just take the time to take precautions. From the SPSC, here are some important window safety reminders for all of us:

  • Safeguard your children by using window guards or window stops.
    • Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows.
    • For windows on the sixth floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of fire.
    • Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches.
  • Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
  • Whenever possible, open windows from the top -- instead of the bottom.
  • Keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows.
  • Some jurisdictions require landlords to install guards. Check your local regulations.

Are your windows safeguarded?

Image via marc falardeau/Flickr

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