Window Falls - Your Child May Be At Risk
What an exciting time it is to watch a baby you love learn to walk! Those first wobbly steps toward freedom often lead to a tumble onto the carpet, although in my experience there’s nearly always adults lovingly catching the wee one before he or she lands on the carpet. Yet, as true as this is, recent research published in the medical journal Pediatrics reveals that in the past 20 years falls from windows have accounted for injuries sustained by nearly 100,000 babies and young children under the age of 5 in the United states.
We may be quick to assume that this is happening in big city apartment buildings and surely not in modest homes in our own neighborhoods, yet statistics show that a full 94 percent have occurred from first and second floor windows! How can this be? How do we go from eagerly watching for a child’s first steps and anxiously attempting to catch them before they tumble to the soft carpeting to losing sight of them as they climb up onto window sills and fall through the opening? According to Dr. Gary A Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio this is a much more common injury than you would think.
Ask any parent, grandparent or other care giver of young children and they will be quick to tell you how curious the small ones they spend their time with are at the ages noted in the statistics referred to in the research quoted here. “Not only are these injuries severe,” says Dr Smith “we know they are preventable.” Newspapers across the country tell of case after case, however, of the deaths of small children as a result of these injuries, and of shocked and mourning family members sometimes facing legal action as a result.Continued on the next page