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Open Windows: Mean Children Need to be Watched (update)

2 comments

Over time, we have been involved in a number of cases that involve small children falling out of upper story windows. The injuries are severe and at times can be fatal. The worse cases are those where there have been earlier warnings or complaints about the windows.

As the Minneapolis Tribune recently reported:

In recent years, a number of Minnesota children have fallen from windows, including at least three last year, one of whom died.

In June 2011, a 2-year-old girl was injured in a fall from a second-floor hotel window at Grand Casino Hinckley.

In August, 11-month-old Ilhaan Hassan fell nine stories to her death at the Skyline Tower apartments in St. Paul. She had been playing with other children on a bed pushed up near a window when she fell.

In October, a 2-year-old boy was hospitalized with serious injuries after he fell from a sixth-story apartment window in St. Paul. He had been playing on a nearby couch.

From 2006 through last August, Regions Hospital in St. Paul treated 44 children who fell from windows, two of whom died. In the same time, Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis admitted 58 children who fell from windows, none of them fatalities.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has estimated that 3,000 U.S. children under age 5 are hospitalized annually as the result of such tumbles.

The Ramsey County Sheriff Department has in the past sent out a press release pointed out the following tips:

  • That screens be secure and children are not allowed to play near open windows.
  • Chairs and other furniture should be moved away from windows so children can't climb up and press upon the screens.
  • If possible, open windows from the top, not the bottom.

New York City has set up a whole program to prevent these tragedies.

Screens cannot be trusted to do the job alone. Screens are made to keep bugs out, not to keep children in. Review simple child safety products available. Most hardware stores sell child safety products and window stops which allow windows only to open a few inches past the sill. Window guards screw into the sides of the window frame. They need to be screwed securely into the window frame because guards that are simply spring-loaded can be easily dislodged by a child.

Update: Interesting email I got:

We have launched a campaign on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GuardianAngelWindowGuards and Twitter @Window_Guards to build awareness for this tragedy.

Sounds like helpful info.

Be safe and check those windows.

2 Comments

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  1. Holly Schiesser says:
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    Hello, I would love to be of any help I can. While I lived in St Cloud many years ago, my son, then age 3 fell from a second story window. He is now 21 and I can still see the affects of his brain injury please feel free to contact me at the above email. At that time there were only 14 states in the US with laws regarding window safety . Jason was one of 8 children who had fallen from those windows. Any help I can be I will thank you.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thank you for reading and your comment, I will pass it along to the people I know that do look at legislative changes to keep your name in mind.