Kids Injured Falls From Windows

Published: August 23, 2011

Kids Injured Falls From Windows, More than 5,000 U.S. children and adolescents are injured each year in falls from Windows, according to a study suggesting that the problem extends beyond the urban skyscrapers.

The research found many children fall from windows on the first and second floors.

“It’s not just a problem of a big city,” said lead author Dr. Gary Smith of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The suburban mother, Beth Harlan, known to be true.

Two years ago, her daughter, Sidney Dillon, then six years old, fell from a second story window in their home in Galloway, just west of Columbus. The girl was sitting on the edge and leaned against the window screen. Harlan entered the room as the screen broke.

“I came upstairs just in time to see her grave from the window,” said Harlan. Fortunately, Sidney fell into a bush landscape mulch and fresh. An x-ray broken bones excluded. However, the incident frightened both mother and daughter.

“Never think that sort of thing can not happen to you,” said Harlan. “Never in a million years, when I opened the window, I thought my child would choose to sit on a windowsill.”

Harlan’s daughter was older than the typical child who falls. Preschool children are most at risk and suffer head injuries older.

“Two thirds of these injuries occurred in children under 5. This is the age group that is mobile, curious and does not recognize the danger of falling from a window, “said Smith.

The study, appearing Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first nationally representative study of such lesions. The researchers analyzed data from emergency departments from 1990 to 2008. A 98 415 children were injured during this period estimated.

Less than 1 percent of cases lead to death, but researchers said the count probably underestimated because not all deaths of children who die of their injuries were taken to hospital.

The summer months when windows are open saw the largest number of injuries. One or two story fall up 94 percent of cases where the height of the fall was recorded.

The injury rate has decreased slightly over the 19 years, about 4 percent, almost entirely in the group of less than 5 years. The average annual injury rate was about seven injuries per 100 000 children.

Increased awareness of the danger, the construction of windows and improved the use of window guards – bars that open windows, but keep children from falling – could explain the decline, said Smith.

New York and Boston were able to achieve an even greater reduction in injury rates by raising public awareness, Smith said. New York City requires window guards in apartments with children 10 and under.

“The public awareness campaign is an important first step in building consensus. But not until you get regulatory requirements in place are you going to see the kind of impact you are trying to achieve,” said Dr. Andrew D. Root, childhood Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx in New York district, where the window fall injuries are now seen only rarely.

Window guards cost about $ 20 to $ 40 per window. A quick release feature allows escape a fire or other emergency. Parents also need to move furniture away from windows and open windows from the top, if possible.

“We know what works and yet we still have more than 5,000 children a year in haste to the emergency room because of falling windows. It is 14 children per day, “said Smith.


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