It sadly seems to happen every spring or summer, and it's a troubling reminder to parents.
Two young boys were critically injured Thursday after falling out of windows in two separate incidents on the Northwest Side -- just about two hours apart, authorities said.
The most recent fall came as a 2-year-old looking out a window on West Shakespeare, waiting for his dad to come home. The toddler fell two-stories to the ground at about 5:30 p.m., according to Fire Media Affairs Chief Kevin MacGregor. The boy was taken in critical condition to Children's Memorial Hospital.
Just a few hours earlier, in the Northwest Side's Irving Park neighborhood, a 4-year-old boy was critically injured after falling from a second-story window at 4655 N. Kenton Ave. He was also transported to Children’s Memorial Hospital in critical condition, spokesman Quention Curtis said.
In the United States, approximately 140 deaths from falls occur annually in children younger than 15 years. Another three million children require emergency department care for fall-related injuries, according to the American Adademy of Pediatrics.
To prevent falls, the AAP recommends:
- Supervise small children at all times, especially if windows are open.
- Install locks on windows to prevent sliding windows not intended for egress from opening more than 4 in.
- Open double-hung windows from the top only.
- Fixed guards, commonly used to prevent intrusion, should not be used, because they may prevent egress in the case of fire.
- Install operable window guards on second- and higher-story windows (unless prohibited by local fire regulations). Window screens are designed to keep insects out, but because they are not strong enough to keep children inside, they will not prevent falls from windows.
- Discourage or prohibit children from playing on fire escapes, roofs, and balconies, especially those that are not adequately fenced with vertical bars that have openings of 4 in or less. Encourage the use of ground-level safe play areas, such as public parks and playgrounds. Ideally, these areas have been inspected and found safe by a nationally certified playground inspector.
- Avoid placing furniture, on which children may climb, near windows or on balconies.