Earlier this week, reports surfaced of a 5-year-old boy sustaining serious injuries after falling three storeys falling to their death in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood. At the time of writing this, the child remains in a critical condition in hospital. This is hardly an isolated incident; in fact, it is the latest in a recent spate of deaths reported across the globe; in early June, a 3-year-old boy fell 13 storeys in Harlem, New York, and a 4-year-old died falling from a window in North Portland; later that month a toddler fell six storeys in Colorado; a week later, a 4-year-old fell to their death from a home in British Columbia. Just last week, an 18-month-old girl fell out of a seven story window to her death in Birmingham.
Despite the countless warnings, safety alerts and even changes to laws and guidelines regarding window safety, these accidents continue to occur across the globe. Most of these incidents are quite easily avoidable, and families with children should take as many precautions as possible.
The importance of window safety in the home cannot be stressed enough. There are so many ways that a small child can fall out of a window, and these accidents are often the result of simple oversights, such as climbing onto or jumping on nearby furniture, playing with loose fly screens, or simply out of curiosity, if a window is in reach. More often than not, these accidents can be avoided with basic mindfulness and common sense; for instance, keeping furniture like chairs and climbable cupboards or chests of drawers away from open windows, and generally preventing a child from being able to reach or access a window opening at all.
In some cases it can be difficult, or even impossible to keep furniture or other objects away from windows. In these instances, it’s important to also use additional safety tools, like window locks and latches which prevent the window from opening too far, thus helping to prevent accidental falls.
Dreambaby® offer a number of locks and latches with can be used to help prevent accidents and injuries around windows. The BREEZZ-SAFE® Window Restrictor and Sliding Window Restrictor both limit the window opening to a maximum of 10cm/4″, which can be useful for times when the window needs to be opened to allow fresh air and a breeze, while also limiting the opening so a child cannot fit outside. Dreambaby® also offer outwards and inward opening Window Latches, which can be adjusted to limit the opening space, too.
These are just some of the many possible options for safety items used to help prevent serious injuries, and even fatalities caused by children falling from windows. It’s incredibly important for families to keep window safety in mind at all times, for all windows – not only those high up in apartment buildings.
The growing number of fatalities and accidents caused by children falling from windows is alarming, particularly because of how easily avoidable many of these incidents are. While window safety may be overlooked at times, it can be one of the most dangerous risks in the home. It is incredibly important to ensure that furniture is not placed near windows, or that locks are installed to help prevent such accidents from happening again.