SPANISH FORK — A 3-year-old girl was critically injured when she fell from a second-story window in Spanish Fork Sunday evening, authorities said.
The girl was on a bed near the open window of a residence near 2300 E. Ranch Hand Way about 7:50 p.m., according to Spanish Fork Police Sgt. Chris Sheriff. The girl put her hand on the screen, which gave way.
She fell about 13 feet onto concrete porch steps below, Sheriff said.
The girl was taken by ambulance to Utah Valley Hospital and later flown to Primary Children's Hospital.
Statistics on similar accidents show the height of the fall, force of impact and surface they land on are factors contributing to the severity of injuries.
Every year in the U.S., 15-20 children under the age of 11 die, and more than 15,000 children are injured from window falls, according to Primary Children's Hospital. Falls from windows are more common in spring and summer months.
"It's a good time to remind people to check their windows, especially with small children," said Spanish Fork Police Sgt. Brandon Anderson. "Make sure there's not anything near the windows so the child can't obviously climb up and push on the screen, because they're not always secure."
Children under 4 years are more likely than other age groups to suffer serious injuries from a window fall.
Primary Children's Hospital offers these tips to prevent window falls:
- Keep your windows closed and locked when children are around. If you do open a window for ventilation, open ones that are out of the reach of children.
- Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows. Screens are not designed to prevent falls.
- Keep furniture away from windows.
- Set and enforce rules about keeping children’s play away from windows.
- Most window falls occur when children are left alone. There is no substitute for supervision.
Here are additional safety tips from SafeKids.org:
For more information on preventing falls, visit safekids.org.
Contributing: Tracie Snowder