Sharjah toddler falls to death from fifth floor
Jan 28, 2013 (Khaleej Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
An Indian toddler fell to his death from the fifth floor of his family's flat in Al Majjarah area in Sharjah on Sunday -- the second such incident in three days. On Friday, a five-year-old child died after falling from his third floor apartment in Abu Dhabi.
Recounting the tragedy, the parents of the 16-month-old boy, said it all happened in a flash after they had turned their attention away from the child. "It was over in a matter of five minutes," said the shocked parents.
In their statement to the police, they said the accident happened when the mother was in the kitchen preparing food for the baby and the father went to use the bathroom. The boy, who was unattended in the living room, climbed on to the dining table and "slipped through the open window".
Make Your Windows Safe
The Ministry of Interior's Child Protection Centre has suggested five tips to help parents protect children from accidentally falling through.
Supervise children around windows: Young children need to be supervised when they are around any open window. Parents trust that screens are secure enough to prevent a child from falling out of a window.
The screen only prevents insects from getting into the house. A child who leans against a screen can easily push it out and fall.
Lock windows: Most windows are easy to slide open, even by a toddler. A good habit to develop is to lock a window as soon as it is closed. Locked windows also keep out burglars.
Install window guards: Window guards can be easily installed. Screws are used on either side of the window frame to securely attach the window guards.
The bars are close together which makes it difficult for a child to squeeze through.
However, care has to be taken to purchase guards that have been approved.
Install window stops: Window stops can be placed on the window frame to stop it from opening up to not more than four inches wide. Like window guards, window stops can be purchased at a hardware store or home maintenance centres.
Keep furniture away from windows: A child can push light items over to open a window and look out at what is happening in the outside world.
Is your child safe on the balcony
Setting firm rules with regard to balcony safety or deck safety are protection for everybody, not just for children. A fall from a balcony even two metres high can be fatal!Often the bars/railings on the balcony or deck are wide apart and it is easy for children to slip through.
The following balcony safety tips should help.
Ensure that the balcony access door is securely locked at all times and place the key out of reach of children.
Make it a rule that older children do not entertain their friends on the balcony when you are not at home.
Make sure there is nothing available for a child to climb up in order to hang over the wall or railings.
Check to see if the railings are close enough so that a crawling infant cannot get through. Babies and small children can get through surprisingly small spaces.
Secure a safety 'fence', or a sheet of clear perspex along open railings.
Place a row of potted plants in window boxes on the inside of the wall or railing to prevent children from hanging over and adults from sitting on the wall.
Make sure no one sits on the balcony railing or wall under any circumstances.
Make it a point to educate everybody you know about balcony safety.
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