Unfortunately, for the second time in six weeks, a second Snoqualmie child fell out of a second story window. The first incident happened on May 9, 2013.
The second incident happened on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Fire and aid responded to a Snoqualmie home after a child sustained injuries from a second story window fall of about 12-15 feet. Snoqualmie Fire Chief, Bob Rowe, has confirmed the child remains in critical condition, but cannot provide further details.
A 2011 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics documented that between 1990 – 2008, over 5,000 U.S. children under 18 were treated yearly in hospital emergency departments for injuries sustained after falling out of windows, with most falls being from second story windows. That’s about 14 kids a day according to the study.
Toddlers accounted for 50% of cases, as they are more curious and their bodies are more top-heavy. Boys fell more often than girls and most injuries sustained were to the head and face. 2-year old children had the highest injury rate. Only two in every 1,000 cases were fatal, though.
Snoqualmie is home to about 11,000 people. 2010 census data showed 35% of the City of Snoqualmie’s population was under the age of 18. Thus, child safety is an important topic for city officials. Snoqualmie Ridge design standards require most windows on the front of homes be 6 feet tall, putting them right at the height of young children.
Experts say any home with a second story can be a potential risk to children and recommend these steps for preventing falls:
- Move furniture away from windows to limit children’s access to them.
- Do not open windows in rooms with children more that 4 inches
- Install window guards or locks, stopping them from opening more than 4 inches. Two recommended products are Guardian Angel Window Guards and Kidco Mesh Window Guards Both products can be ordered online.
- Window screens keep bugs out, not kids in. They should not be considered safety devices. Window screens release and pop off without much force. They will not stop a child from falling out and experts say they should give parents no comfort.
- Experts recommend educating kids 5 and over about the dangers of jumping out or playing near open windows.