A four-year-old child was injured after falling out of a window in Surrey in September 2019 – one of 14 high-fall incidents in B.C. that year. (Shane MacKichan photos)

Child, 3, falls from window in Burnaby, sparking warning from BC Children’s Hospital

Fasten windows and lock balconies are just a few of the suggested safety measures

A child is recovering after falling from an open window this week in Burnaby in what could have been a family’s worst nightmare. The incident has sparked calls by health officials urging parents to take preventative measures as the weather warms up.

According to RCMP, a three-year-old fell 20 feet from a second floor window on Wednesday night (June 24). In a statement, police said the parent was getting their children read for bed when the child left the room unnoticed.

The parent discovered the child moments later on the ground outside the home. They were rushed to BC Children’s Hospital and suffered only minor injuries, police said.

So far this year, BC Children’s Hospital has already treated nine children for falling from windows or balconies. Tragically, one of the children died from their injuries.

ALSO READ: 15 children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

In 2019, 14 children under 16 years old were treated at the Vancouver-based hospital for falls from high elevations. More than three quarters of these falls each year happen between April and September, when the weather is warmer.

The pandemic has kept families in their homes more than ever, making window and balcony safety top of mind for Dr. Ash Singhal, a pediatric neurosurgeon at BC Children’s.

Regardless of the severity of injuries, a single instance of a children falling through a window can impact the entire family, says Singhal.

“In the days and weeks after we treat a child, we see the incredible personal and emotional impacts of the injury on the child and parents, grandparents and on all the care givers,” Singhal explained. “We want to try to help prevent that from happening again.”

The hospital is offering a number of safety tips to parents and guardians, including:

  • Don’t leave children unattended on balconies or decks.
  • Move furniture and planters – or anything that can be climbed on – away from windows, balcony railings and balcony door handles. Lock balcony doors.
  • Install window guards on windows above the ground floor. Fasten windows so that they cannot open more than 10 centimetres wide but ensure there is a safety release.

  • Talk to your children about the dangers of opening or playing near windows, particularly on upper floors.

Toddlers are most vulnerable to window falls

Head injuries and fractures to shoulders and upper arms are the most common injuries sustained from falls. Ninety per cent of the time it’s a child aged six or younger.

Toddlers are especially vulnerable to window falls because they are curious and love to climb but also have a higher centre of gravity than babies so they can easily fall headfirst through a window screen if they lean against it, BC Children’s said in a news release.

Paramedic specialist Ole Olsen said taking measures to better protect children in their home can prevent serious safety hazards.

“I think that’s one of the most tragic calls that a paramedic or a first responder can attend to, especially knowing a few simple actions can make a home more secure for children and prevent devastating falls.”

If a child has fallen more than 1.5 metres, or five feet, and has lost consciousness or is vomiting they may have sustained a head injury and 911 should be called immediately.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Emergency Preparedness

Just Posted

COTR honours Orange Shirt Day

A virtual event to raise awareness about Orange Shirt Day is being hosted early on Sept. 22

Invermere gets new CAO

Invermere found his new CAO after a long period of research.

Radium council discusses short term rentals

RHS council are elaborating the second draft plan for STR

Farmers’ Institute report highlights emerging local food scene

Beef cattle ranching remains mainstay of valley agriculture

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Federal child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Most Read