Elliot officials see spike in children falling out of windows

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Example of a window guard placed outside a window for child safety (credit – Fairy Baby)

MANCHESTER, N.H.  In the last three weeks, five children under the age of four  have tumbled out of second and third-story windows, according to Adam Rembisz, Trauma Program Manager for the Elliot Hospital.

Two of the incidents happened in the city while the other three were in surrounding towns, he said.

Most of the injuries were minor bumps and bruises but Resmisz said one child had a “pretty significant head injury” but is expected to be okay in the long run.

Each year, Rembisz said, there are a handful of incidents of children pushing up against a window screen and falling to the ground below.

“So five in the past three weeks is a large spike in what we usually see,” he said.

A Manchester police officer measures the distance between a second-floor window and the ground after a child fell from the window last week. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings, frameofmindphoto.com

According to Safe Kids, unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the United States.  Each year, window falls account for about eight deaths and 3,300 injuries among children ages five and under, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in, is the tagline used by Safe Kids. 

 One safety measure to take is to install window guards.  For windows above the first floor, include an emergency release device in case of fire.

”All you need is a stopper so the window doesn’t go up any more than four inches,” Rembisz said.   He estimated the cost for a double-hung window to be between five and six dollars.

Rembisz said furniture should also be moved away from windows to prevent children from climbing up on it and reaching the windows.   He also said parents should keep a watchful eye on older children who might open windows wider.

Manchester city bylaws only require mosquito screens over windows, not window guards.