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Summertime Caution – Open Windows Can Be A Safety Hazard For Young Children

Summer in Boston can often be a  time to leave your windows open and let the breeze roll in, an action of relief from the stifling heat. What most people fail to realize though is that these open windows may pose an enormous safety hazard for any young children present in the home—particularly if your windows are open on a high floor. During the past few weeks there have been numerous incidents where young children have fallen through open windows and suffered serious injuries; serious injuries that some may even die from if they fall a great distance.

Early Friday morning a 2 year old girl from Boston fell out of the window of her 2nd floor apartment located on 134 Hampton Street, and landed on the patio below. Initial reports indicate that the distance the young girl fell was between 12 feet and 15 feet. Thankfully, she did not suffer any serious injuries from the fall. She was transported to Boston Medical Center following the incident and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The girl’s mother indicated that she believes the girl pushed aside cardboard that had been propped against the window, which is what opened the area up for her to fall through.

This occurrence is not uncommon. Children playing near windows or leaning against them will often push too hard against the screen, causing it to dislodge. This can happen fairly easily and quickly, which leaves children in a vulnerable position and prone to falling straight through the opening. Parents are encouraged to check the security and stability of the screen windows in their homes and to monitor children that may be playing near the window in order to prevent any injuries from occurring.

Unfortunately, some children that fall from a window suffer fatal injuries. On May 24th of this year, a young girl from Fall River fell approximately 30 feet from her window. EMS officials responding to the scene said that she had suffered serious head trauma from the fall. After transporting the child to a nearby hospital, she later succumbed to her wounds. Exact details on this matter haven’t been provided; but law enforcement officials responding to the call have said that it was just an extremely unfortunate accident.

No one wants to suffer through the sweltering summer heat, and leaving windows fully open is a common practice. But if there are young children present in your home, it would be in the best interest of their safety to secure all the windows. Even something as simple as opening the window a small amount—an amount that a child of any size would not be able to fit through—could make a huge difference. Exercising caution and staying aware of your children’s whereabouts are the first steps toward preventing accidents from happening.

If you happen to live on a higher level floor of a building, perhaps installing some type of child proofing on or around the windows could help prevent young children from trying to open the window on their own. When it comes to safe parenting, one can never be too cautious.

The original articles for the children who were injured may be found at the following links:

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/05/25/girl-dies-after-falling-from-fall-river-window/

http://www.wcvb.com/news/girl-2-falls-from-apartment-window-onto-patio-below/34465258