A five-year-old girl is lucky to be alive after falling out of a window in a home in Milperra, Sydney’s southwest.
The little girl apparently fell through the flyscreen onto the concrete ground below. She suffered injuries to her chest, abdominal area and wrist and is now in a nearby hospital in a stable condition.
Child falls five metres
According to reports, the little girl fell around five metres, or 15 feet, after the flyscreen gave way. Three ambulance crews were dispatched to the scene, along with a specialist medical team including a critical care doctor and critical care paramedics.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Craig Watkins said the little girl “is extremely fortunate not to have sustained more serious injuries”.
The accident acts as a warning to other families to check your security and flyscreens! Many older homes have flyscreens that are not completely secured and this is actually something that happens a lot more than you may think.
Preschoolers most at risk for window falls
According to Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), “nationally, one child under five is admitted to hospital every day after falling from a building – often from open windows but also from balconies”.
Preschoolers are particularly at risk of window falls due to their curious nature.
Small children are built differently to adults – their heads are proportionally much bigger than ours, so they have a different centre of gravity. This means that, if they lean out of a window, they may topple out. And when they land, their head takes much of the impact. ” – CAPT
Tips for preventing window falls
- Never put a baby’s crib or young child’s bed next to a window.
- Move furniture away from windows to make it harder for small children to climb up. You can also start teaching them where not to climb – though they may forget if there’s something interesting outside they really want to see.
- Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows. Screens are not designed to prevent falls.
- Safeguard windows with window guards or window stops. Window guards prevent children from falling out of open windows. Window stops prevent windows from opening more than a few inches.
Additional home safety tips
- Screw or use brackets to secure televisions, bookcases, drawer units and ANY OTHER piece of furniture which could potentially be climbed and toppled over, to the wall to avoid the risk of any crushing accidents.
- Put appliance locks on major appliances that littlies can’t help but be fascinated by, such as the washing machine and microwave.
- Any breakable items (photo frames, vases, etc) should be up high and out of reach. Smashed glass and toddlers generally don’t mix well and we want you to have nice things!
- Tuck cords away well and truly out of reach, winding them around hooks and not left loose. Kids can’t help but yank on electrical cords or swing off blind cords.
- Put child gates on all stairs and use them to block entryways to rooms.
- Put power point outlet stoppers on all power points.
- Put a toilet lock on your toilet to secure the lid down.
- Secure the kitchen bin. The only thing to rival the family dog when it comes to the bin is a toddler. Save yourself having to look through it every other day for your car keys by securing it (and keeping those keys in a cupboard, out of reach).
- Stove knob guards on the stove prevent little fingers from fiddling or accidental burns.
- Put a fireguard around the wood fire heater at home.
- Cleaning bits and bobs, medicines and batteries should all be completely out of reach.
- Don’t leave knife blocks on countertops. Put them away in the pantry where they can’t be accessed.
- If you have side gates into the back yard, lock them. You want the backyard to be a safe place for your little one to explore without the opportunity to escape to the driveway or worse, the open road. It only takes minutes!