Keep your children safe on balconies and near open windows this summer

Window falls spark warning

After a toddler fell from the second floor of a Burnaby apartment building recently and B.C. continues to cope with sweltering temperatures, BC Children’s Hospital and BC Emergency Health Services are reminding parents and caregivers to keep children safe near open windows and on balconies.

So far this year, eight children have been treated at BC Children’s after falling from a window or balcony. Two of those children have since passed away.

“The injuries we see from window falls are often devastating for everyone involved," says BC Children’s trauma manager Michelle Dodds. "It's devastating for the child, who’s had this big and awful thing happen, and the other family members as well, who are sometimes struggling with emotional trauma from the event and logistics of having a child injured or in the hospital.”

Falls from windows or balconies typically involve children aged six and under and the vast majority occur at home when the weather is warmer, between April and September.

“With the weather heating up, I want to encourage parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant and keep children safe near windows and balconies," says BCEHS advanced care paramedic Ryan Stefani. "As a paramedic for the past 15 years, I have responded to these types of calls, where young ones have fallen and sustained serious or even fatal injuries – it's heart-breaking. Please follow our fall prevention tips, protect your loved ones and have a safe, enjoyable summer."

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