Abels & Annes

Children Falling out of Windows — A Preventable Child Injury in Illinois and Elsewhere

According to MSN, more than 5,000 children in the United States are hospitalized every year after falling out of a window. A quarter of these injuries are serious enough to have the child be admitted. These statistics haven’t seen much of an improvement either. Researchers report that there has only been a slight decrease in the number, making it a significant cause of child injury in Chicago and elsewhere over the last 19 years.
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“We continue to see this problem, especially in younger kids, despite the fact that we know how to prevent it,” Dr. Gary Smith at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Our Chicago premises liability attorneys are aware that there have been nearly 100,000 children under the age of 18 treated in hospitals in the U.S. because of injuries that were sustained after falling out of a window in recent years. This means that about 7 injuries are sustained for every 100,000 children. These accidents can easily be prevented with proper supervision — particularly when the appropriate precautions are taken by building owners and landlords.

Most of these falls occur from a second-floor window. About half of the children who are injured sustain injuries to their head and face. About two in every 1,000 incidents is fatal.

Toddlers are the most vulnerable for these types of accidents. The young children account for about two-thirds of all of these accidents. This is most likely because they’re so curious and can oftentimes be found wandering around and exploring the unknown and because they’ve got such a high center of gravity. This means that toddlers oftentimes fall head first.

“As they lean over, their high center of gravity will make them topple,” says Smith.

Dr. Smith is encouraging his researchers to look further into the problem. He wants more cities and more locations to be included in the data.

He goes on to encourage parents to take the proper safety precautions to help prevent these accidents from happening to their child or at their home.

Dr. Smith’s safety tips:

-Make sure that kids do not have access to any windows in your home, no matter which floor they may be located on.

-Keep furniture away from windows. This will stop children from climbing on it to gain access to any window nearby.

-Consider window stops or window guards. Some cities already have these guards mandated. In New York, for example, all apartment buildings are required by Health Code to have guards on every window in the home if there is a child under the age of 11 living in it.

-Don’t rely on window screens. Window screens should never be used as a substitute for a window guard. Screens are oftentimes not strong enough to prevent a child from falling out of a window.

If you or your child has been injured in a Chicago window accident, contact Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

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July 22, 2011
Feds delay rule aimed at preventing backover accidents in Chicago, elsewhere
April 1, 2011