Protect your children from window and balcony falls this summer

In March this year, legislation was put into place to ensure the safety of children in multi-story residences through the installation of window safety devices. By law, landlords, owner’s corporations and strata management companies are now required to install appropriate safety devices to comply with the legislation.

Summer is the most common time for falls out of windows to occur. It is vital that in the lead up to summer all windows are checked to ensure compliance. While legislation only specifies strata buildings and apartments/townhouses, it is important to abide by these guidelines in multi-story homes as well.

In 2017, before legislation came into place, 14 children were treated at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead for falls from windows. Thankfully this number has decreased with eight similar incidents so far in 2018. In theory, the legal changes made should now be protecting children, yet we continue to see children falling from windows in their home.

Trauma Staff Specialist, Dr SV Soundappan from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, sees patients that have fallen from windows regularly and stresses the importance of safety devices and adult supervision.

“The amount of children we see who have fallen from a window is quite astounding" said Dr Soundappan.

"Though the numbers are decreasing, which is fantastic, it is so important over the summer period to watch kids closely and to make sure windows have the appropriate safety equipment installed as injuries from window falls can be very serious”, he said.

Remember

  •  Compliance with the legislation is mandatory.
  •  Install safety devices to limit window openings to 12.5cm in all windows 2 m above outside ground level.
  •  Beds and other furniture should be kept away from windows so that children cannot climb up to windows.
  •  Children should be taught to play away from windows.
  •  Warn families and friends of the risk of children falling from windows.
  •  Flyscreens keep bugs out, not children in.

Visit Kids Health for information and tips on preventing falls from windows.