Young children fall out of windows in three separate incidents
As temperatures continue to rise, the Washington County Sheriff's Office is urging the importance of window safety after three separate incidents involving four young children falling out of second-story windows.
Two of the children suffered critical injuries, said the Sheriff's Office in a press release on Tuesday, July 22.
In each of the events, only a screen was protecting the open window.
In the first incident, deputies responded to a home in Aloha, where they discovered that a 2-year-old boy had fallen out of an open second-story window while playing hide and seek on Tuesday, June 20. The boy was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
On Tuesday, July 7, the second incident was also in Aloha, but deputies responded to a separate home. That's where they found that a 3-year-old boy fell out of an open second-story window while playing with his brother.
The 3-year-old boy was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. It was later discovered the boy sustained a skull fracture from the fall, the Sheriff's Office said.
In the third incident, deputies responded to a home in Bethany on Tuesday, July 21, where two young brothers, ages 4 and 6, had fallen out of a second-story window. The brothers were playing near an open window and fell more than 20 feet, landing on a paver patio.
The brothers were taken to a local hospital, and it was discovered the 6-year-old brother had several skull fractures. The 4-year-old brother did not have significant injuries; the Sheriff's Office said it appeared he may have landed on his older brother after the fall.
"The Washington County Sheriff's Office wants to urge people to 'Stop at 4,'" said the Sheriff's Office in a statement. "'Stop at 4' is a campaign reminding everyone to only open windows four inches or less to prevent young children from falling."
The Sheriff's Office also suggests parents, caregivers, or anyone who might have a child living or visiting their home to advice children to play a safe distance from windows, keep furniture and anything a child can climb away from windows, and install window stops to prevent children from falling out of open windows.
But make sure those window stops, guards or child safety screens can be easily removed in an event of a fire or other emergency, says Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue public affairs officer, Stefan L. Myers.
"(Safety devices) are very affordable and simple to install," added Myers.
Myers suggests for parents to have conversations with children about window safety as soon as they can have a full conversation. It's important to do, he says, because kids need to know that the screens will not keep them in, and there's danger if they were to fall off that window.
"As an adult, we don't think about (windows) as dangerous," said Myers. "It's easy to think of a cooking stove top or other dangers that are obvious in our home. This one sometimes isn't as apparent."
According to Safe Kids Oregon, falls are the leading cause of injury hospitalizations for Oregon children from birth to 19 years of age.
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