As summer is at its peak, hospitals and emergency rooms see a sizeable increase in the number of children seeking medical treatment for personal injuries due to a fall from an open window or balcony. For example, on Monday, July 21, 2014, a local 8-year old girl fell from the balcony at a Mission Beach rental property. Every year it is estimated that nearly 5,000 children in the United States will suffer a fall from a window. Tragically, most of these accidents involved toddlers. The most common injury suffered by these children is a serious head injury or permanent disability from the fall, as often these falls are from second or third stories.
A majority of window falls result from children falling against a window screen. Window screens are not designed to support the weight of even a small child and when a child leans on the screen, it often falls out. If the child is leaning a large amount of weight on the window screen, it is common for the child to fall out of the window along with the screen. Most people do not realize the significant dangers associated with window falls, as they present a considerable risk for small children, or many people fault the parents for lack of supervision of their children.
The problem is that most parents were in fact supervising their children at the time of the accident, and just do not realize the dangers of children leaning against a window. The parents may not be aware that window screens may not support the weight of their small child, or the child may lean against a window too fast for the parents to respond in enough time. There may also be contributing factors, such as defects in the screen, lack of maintenance of the windows, or a poor design that may contribute to these accidents.
To reduce the risk of window falls, please follow these important safety tips:
- Lock all windows and doors
- Place a guard or stop in the window
- Keep all furniture, beds, and anything children can climb away from windows
- Open windows from the top; not the bottom
- Install window safety guards
- Make sure children are adequately supervised at all times
If your child suffers personal injuries from a fall from a window, please contact the San Diego personal injury lawyers at Martinez & Schill LLP for a free consultation. The fall could have resulted from the negligence of third parties in the design of the window, the landlord’s maintenance of the window, or others. The experienced Riverside personal injury lawyers at Martinez & Schill offer free consultations and are not paid unless we recover. 619-512-5995.