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.
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.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.