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BC Children's issues window safety tips as temperatures rise

Last Updated Jun 18, 2021 at 11:45 am PDT

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Summary

According to the B.C. Trauma Registry, 14 children were treated after falling from high elevations in 2020

BC Children's Hospital recommends taking precautions to prevent falls from balconies, windows

Most falls involve children aged six and under during the warmer months, according to BC Children's

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – BC Children’s Hospital is reminding you to keep your kids safe around open windows, as temperatures warm up.

According to the B.C. Trauma Registry, 14 children were treated after falling from high elevations in 2020. So far this year, several children have been hurt and two have died after serious falls.

“The injuries we see from window falls are often devastating for everyone involved,” said BC Children’s trauma manager Michelle Dodds. “It’s devastating for the child, who’s had this big and awful thing happen, and the other family members as well, who are sometimes struggling with emotional trauma from the event and logistics of having a child injured or in the hospital.”

Some tips to prevent these kinds of falls include not leaving kids unattended on balconies, installing window guards, and moving things that can be climbed on — like chairs or planters — away from windows.

Experts also recommend having conversations with your children about the dangers of opening or playing near windows.

According to BC Children’s, most falls involve children aged six and under during the warmer months, typically between April and September.

It adds toddlers, who are curious, love to climb, and often don’t recognize risk, are especially vulnerable.

“Because they have a higher centre of gravity, toddlers can easily fall headfirst through a window screen if they lean against it,” BC Children’s says.

You’re told to seek immediate care if your child has fallen more than five feet and has lost consciousness or is vomiting, with experts saying these could be signs of a head injury.

Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

“Our trauma team members train and simulate over and over again to best care for these kids in their ‘golden hour’ of trauma where every minute counts,” added Dodds.