A Washington County toddler is lucky to be alive this afternoon after falling from a second floor window at her home. The one and a half year old girl was in a bedroom with her mother when she punched through a window screen and dropped two stories to a combination of bark dust and pavement below.
Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue were dispatched to the child’s home on Jolie Place in unincorporated Washington County just before 11:00 a.m. after a resident called 911 reporting the fall. TVF&R paramedics and a crew from Metro West Ambulance arrived shortly afterward to find the little girl suffering from what appeared to be minor injuries. Because the girl fell from such a great distance, paramedics transported her to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital for further evaluation.
The child’s family tells Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue that the mother was in a bedroom with the child when the incident occurred. The family states that the mother had opened the window to air out the room and had just turned her back on the child when she was able to climb up to the window and lean against the window screen. The screen came dislodged from the window and the child immediately fell through the window, landed on a small slanted roof below, and rolled off of the roof to the ground.
“This incident is an important reminder for parents that window screens are designed to keep bugs out, not kids in,” says TVF&R Public Affairs Officer Brian Barker. “Install window stops that prevent your windows from opening any more than 4 inches. And keep furniture, or anything else children can use to climb, away from windows.”
In Oregon, approximately 50 children fall from upper story windows each year. In the U.S., about 3,300 children under the age of 6 fall from windows every year. TVF&R crews have responded to several dozen incidents over the past seven years.
Window stops or limiters that prevent windows from opening more than four inches can be purchased at most hardware stores and take only a few moments to install. To learn more about preventing window falls, visit http://stopat4.com.