A child was hospitalized Friday afternoon after falling two storeys from a Vancouver home.
It happened in the 1200-block of East 11th Avenue around 2:45 p.m., a B.C. Emergency Health Services spokesman said. Paramedics tool the child to hospital by ambulance.
The agency could not confirm whether the child fell from a window or balcony and would not release the child’s age or gender.
The block where they child fell, near Clark Drive, is lined with single-family homes, most two storeys.
Paramedics and physicians have urged parents to install inexpensive window guards to prevent such accidents, particularly during warm weather when windows are more likely to be left open.
Six children have been treated at B.C. Children’s Hospital this year after falling from balconies or windows, and 15 were treated in 2018.
Last month, a six-year-old boy fell 15 metres from his bedroom window in North Vancouver, landing on concrete. He survived and is expected to make a near-full recovery, with some damage to his vision.
The World Health Organization says falls are the 12th-leading cause of death among kids aged five to nine, and that 66 per cent of fatal falls happen from a significant height, like a deck or window.
A B.C. Trauma Registry report found that 146 children were hospitalized after falling from a balcony in the province between 2009 and 2015. Eighty-five per cent of them were between the ages of one and six.
Over 40 per cent of Vancouverites now live in apartment buildings and more than 16 per cent live in buildings with more than five storeys, according to a 2016 Statistics Canada report.
B.C. Emergency Health Services provides the following safety tips to prevent falls from windows:
• Don’t underestimate a child’s mobility; children begin climbing before they can walk.
• Move furniture and household items away from windows to discourage children from climbing to peer out.
• Be particularly mindful of toddlers, who may climb on anything to get higher.
• Remember that window screens will not prevent children from falling through. They keep bugs out – not children in.
• Install window guards on windows above the ground level. These act as a gate in front of the window.
• Alternatively, fasten your windows so that they cannot open more than 10 centimetres (four inches). Children can fit through spaces as small as 12 centimetres (five inches) wide.
• In either case, ensure there is a safe release option for your windows in case of a house fire.
• Don’t leave children unattended on balconies or decks. Move furniture or planters away from the edges to keep kids from climbing up and over.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of opening and playing near windows, particularly on upper floors of the home or in a high-rise dwelling.
• Consider installing safety glass in large windows and French doors so they won’t shatter if a child runs or falls into them.
With files from Zak Vescera