Summer heat all too often means kids falling in Surrey

So let it be written…

‘Tis the season. What is it with Surrey, that when the weather gets nice small children start raining out of second and third storey windows?

Some land on concrete pathways, while luckier ones hit a bush on the way down, or fall onto a lawn.

I’m not trying to be cute here, because this is not a cute thing. Thankfully most of these youngsters escape with a bruise or two, but a few are seriously injured.

Last Friday, the Surrey RCMP put out its first such bulletin of the season: Child Falls from Second Storey Balcony (see page 15).

In this case, a four-year-old boy fell from an apartment building in Guildford. Fortunately he wasn’t badly injured. Still, he was taken by ambulance to hospital, as a precaution.

According to the Mounties, this young fellow got onto the balcony through the patio door, climbed up on a chair that was against the balcony railing, climbed over the railing and tumbled three metres or so to some soft ground below. Apparently a neighbour saw this, and helped the young lad back to his apartment where, God bless him, he didn’t do it all over again.

Two days later, a six-year-old girl fell from a second-storey window in Fraser Heights, landing on her face.

The RCMP’s police release, once again, reminded parents that, with the warmer weather now here, they need to be careful not to leave

their windows and patio doors open as this poses too tempting an invitation to trouble for curious and adventurous young minds.

Although reason suggests this can’t be a phenomenon exclusive to Surrey, it seems like it is. I asked Sergeant Sarah Swallow, of the Delta Police, if she could remember the last time a child took a spill out of a window in her municipality and she said she couldn’t, "touch wood."

"All the ones I’ve seen have been in Surrey," she said.

It’s not like Delta doesn’t have homes with second and third storey windows and balconies. I asked Sergeant Dale Carr, of the Surrey RCMP, how many such falls Surrey records each year.

"I would say less than a dozen but they do increase as the temperature rises," he replied.

I recall one year there were so many falls, so close together, that

local newspapers were keeping running tabs on them. Let’s look at a few of the falls over the past five years and see if something can’t be learned from them.

A four-year-old boy fell out of the second-storey window of an apartment in Whalley, hitting a metal hydro metre on the way down. Apparently there was a bed close to the window, and the child got out onto the ledge.

A three-year-old girl fell 12 feet through a second-floor window at her house in Newton. She was bouncing on a sofa in a secondstory room when she pushed against the window, popped the screen from the frame and fell to a garden and concrete walkway.

A two-year-old child fell out of the second-storey window of a townhouse in Sullivan. The tot had been pushing on a screen, which gave way.

Some of these children weren’t seriously injured. But when it comes to kids plunging out of windows, you should always expect the worst.

So if you’ve got little kids, move your sofas, chairs and other climbable stuff away from your upper floor windows and balcony rails. And don’t assume a screen window isn’t flimsy. There’s a saying that when something can’t be relied on, it’s about as useful as a screen door installed in a submarine. Likewise, screens aren’t that great at preventing kids from plunging through windows, either.

Finally, fresh air is great, but maybe get a fan for your kids’ sake. Just make sure their little fingers can’t get at the spinning blades.

…So let it be done.

Tom Zytaruk can be reached at tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Findlay to be next CPC candidate for South Surrey-White Rock

Former cabinet minister lost 2017 election to Liberal Gordie Hogg

Teenage girl, 17, accused of stabbing girl, 16, in Surrey

Victim’s injuries not life-threatening

Fledgling Surrey City Orchestra tunes up for showcase concert Friday

Conductor Stuart Martin’s four-year goal is to build a core group of about 60 Surrey-based musicians

Fraser Health to buy two private MRI clinics in Surrey, Abbotsford

New clinics will provide 2,000 more MRIs by fiscal year-end

Safe Surrey Coalition opposes removing any property from ALR

McCallum and Pettigrew take issue with a Port Kells proposal to exclude property from the Agricultural Land Reserve

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Fraser River First Nations say they aren’t getting their share of sockeye salmon

Shortage is a result of decisions made by DFO, not a shortage of sockeye, complaint says

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

Fraser Valley horse trainer suing feed mill after death of five animals

Alicia Harper seeking $500,000 to $1 million in losses and damages from Hi-Pro Feeds

Most Read