On average, one child falls from a window or balcony every week in Australia. Tragically, the resulting injuries and deaths are entirely preventable.
Sadly, as our records show, these cases will increase as warmer weather becomes more prevalent across the country.
Children aged from two to five years are the most susceptible, due to their curious nature and inability to recognise potential dangers. The injuries they sustain in these falls can range from scratches, bruising, head and spinal injuries, limb fractures and even death.
But as CareFlight’s Doctor Ruth Parsell points out, these tragedies can almost all be avoided through proactive action.
“Some simple precautions are to ensure windows are never open more than 10 centimetres, move furniture away from windows that children can climb on and don’t rely on flyscreens.”
In recent years, authorities have implemented building regulations to ensure children’s safety is at the forefront. Now, for example, a safety device must be installed on any openable window that is less than 1.7m above the floor, when it’s more than two metres above the ground. The safety devices – including locks, security screens and bars – must ensure that the window cannot open greater than 125mm and can also resist 25kg of force.
But as Dr Parsell explains, there’s no substitute for adults always remaining mindful of the safety of children around windows. A simple reminder is to “be aware and take care”.
Sahra was bouncing on her bed when she decided to make a leap and pushed the fly screen on the open window and fell five metres to the concrete below.
When CareFlight Doctor Andrew Weatherall arrived on the scene, her injuries included a broken wrist and nose, facial fractures and a damaged liver.
Katherine, Sahra’s mother said, “Sahra looked like she had been hit by a car”
“I thought, how did she fall out of the window, how does this happen?”
Sahra has since made a healthy recovery and took the opportunity to reunite with the CareFlight team that had come to her aid.
This summer, join CareFlight in preventing future serious injuries occurring.
Please donate today to help keep CareFlight flying to the rescue when they are needed.