This is not the first time this summer that I have written about the danger of window falls. With the news, however, that another Oregon child has been injured falling from a window it is important to reemphasize the subject. As a recent article in The Oregonian notes, the latest incident “marked the fourth time a young child had fallen
The most recent incident took place in Portland and was serious enough that a LifeFlight helicopter was required to get the young victim to a hospital for emergency treatment. The Oregonian reports that the child, who is only five years old, was “critically injured.”
“It appears he opened the window by himself and somehow fell out,” a Portland Fire Bureau spokesman told the paper. Coming as this does at a moment when SafeKids Oregon’s ‘Stop at 4’ campaign is in full swing, this is a timely reminder of the window safety precautions that are essential for almost anyone – but especially for people who will have small children in their homes at any point this summer.
The ‘Stop at 4’ campaign has a very simple message: if children are (or might be) present, open windows only four inches, and then lock them in that position using a window stop or similar device. As I have written before, too many people presume that a screen will do the job. But, as the SafeKids Oregon website notes, “screens are to keep bugs out, not kids in.”
As a Portland child injury lawyer one sees tragic cases like this from around Oregon all too often. As SafeKids Oregon notes, nationwide about 3300 children under the age of six fall from windows every year. The vast majority of them (70%) fall from the second or third story. These are the most preventable of tragedies. We all need to do everything in our power to eliminate them.
Oregon SafeKids ‘Stop @ 4’ campaign