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

Greater Victoria School District adopts new dress code policy

Two years in the making, SD61 moves to more inclusionary guidelines

Legal action against B.C. specualtion tax a last resort

Group of Arizona home owners feel they’ve been swept up in an attack on land speculators

Rock the Rink gives youth once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Winning band will get to play a set at Rock the Shores

Sooke makes call for regional fire dispatch

Some municipalities decide to take service off-Island

Victoria beaches 1,560 pounds lighter after Surfrider cleanup

200 people came out to clean the beach on Earth Day

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

EDITORIAL: Greater Victoria amalgamation no magic bullet

Taxpaying citizens need to ask tough questions of both sides in debate

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of April 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

Most Read