Officials gather in Dorchester to promote awareness of child safety around open windows
Officials gathered outside a three-family Victorian home in Dorchester Saturday to demonstrate how to install guards that keep windows from opening far enough to allow children through, part of the 19-year-old Kids Can’t Fly campaign.
“As a parent, it’s easy to forget about the risk of window falls because we all think of our homes as the safest place for kids to play,” said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino in a statement. “We want to make sure that homes are truly safe.”
Before the campaign began, there were 21 falls from windows in Boston in 1991 and 18 in ’92, said Nick Martin, director of communications at the Boston Public Health Commission.
The number has since dropped to two or three falls a year, he said.
As part of the initiative, which includes educating Boston residents with young children, Boston landlords and homeowners can buy discounted window guards through Boston Building Resources in Roxbury for $23.50 and a larger size for $30.50. The guards fit windows in older houses.
Injuries get more severe with every foot a person falls, Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley said. Head injuries, broken or fractured ribs, and internal organ injuries are especially common.
“It’s consistent with a car accident injury,” he said. “A lot of injuries can take a long time to recover from.”
Hooley was a paramedic in Boston before the Kids Can’t Fly campaign began in 1993, and he recalled “a rash” of calls for children falling out of windows.
“It was devastating for the parents, or whoever was watching the kid at the time,” Hooley said.Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at email@example.com.