Prevent small children from falling out of windows - the screen is no protection

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

EVERETT, WA - In the past week, the Everett Fire Department has responded to two separate incidents involving young children falling from third-story windows in their homes.

Unfortunately, both children sustained significant injuries and required transport to Harborview Hospital for medical care. 

Since the beginning of this year, Snohomish County fire agencies have responded to six known incidents where children have fallen from windows, three of which occurred in the city of Everett. These incidents highlight the critical importance of ensuring window safety for toddlers in residential settings.

The most recent incident occurred on Wednesday evening, June 26, just after 7:30pm, when firefighters were dispatched to a home in south Everett for a 3-year-old boy who had fallen from a third-story window. 

Engine 7 and Medic 5 found the child had sustained traumatic injuries, including a head injury. The child was transported to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett and later transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. 

Reportedly, the window had been opened by an older sibling, and the young boy fell out after leaning on the screen. The child remains hospitalized at Harborview Hospital.

The previous incident took place on Wednesday, June 19, around 4:00pm, when firefighters responded to a report of a 4-year-old girl falling from a third-story window at a south Everett residence. 

The child sustained significant injuries and was transported directly to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle by a South County Fire medic. The child was released to return home at the beginning of this week. 

In this instance, the young girl fell out of the window when the screen gave way.

Window safety is crucial, especially when windows are often open in warmer months; however, as in the case of yesterday, window falls can happen regardless of the time of year or weather. Young children are naturally curious and quick, and those between the ages of two and five are at the highest risk of falling out of a window. 

Sadly, around 5,000 children are injured every year due to falls from windows, but the good news is that most of these falls can be easily prevented with some knowledge, the use of safety devices, and careful habits.

Talk to your family, friends, caregivers, and older siblings about window safety for your toddler. 

Seattle Children’s Hospital offers these simple steps:
  • Always supervise young children. Be particularly aware at family gatherings when there are many distractions.
  • Keep windows closed and locked if possible.
  • Install child safety devices on windows 6 feet or more from the ground outside. Be sure to buy devices that an adult can release in case of emergency.
  • Use child safety window stops to prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches.
  • Keep furniture and other things that can be used for climbing away from windows.

Inexpensive window safety devices are available for purchase at home improvement stores and online.


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