OLD TOWN, Maine — An Old Town toddler suffered only minor injuries Monday morning after falling from a second-story window.
The child, a 3-year-old girl whose name was withheld, was at home with her mother and two siblings when she apparently pushed through a screen in a window and fell, Old Town police Officer James Slauenwhite said Monday.
According to Slauenwhite, the incident occurred about 7:50 a.m. in the family’s home at Lincoln Green Apartments.
“It appears to be an accident at this point,” Slauenwhite said, adding that the incident remained under investigation.
After the accident, the girl was taken to a Bangor hospital, the officer said. Additional information about the toddler’s medical condition was not available Monday.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, falls of all kinds are the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States among all age groups.
The majority of fall-related injuries among children are associated with falls from heights, most from three stories or higher, the academy notes, adding that while falls from one or two stories often are not fatal, second-story falls can cause serious injury.
Though screens offer the illusion of safety, they are not strong enough to prevent a child from falling through the window, the pediatricians’ academy noted.
Safety experts say that in many cases, accidental falls can be prevented with planning and foresight.
Following are some ways such accidents can be avoided:
ä Supervise small children at all times, especially if windows are open.
ä Keep unopened windows locked and move furniture away from windows.
ä Consider installing window guards even on ground-floor windows. The guards should be able to prevent windows not intended for egress from opening more than four inches. If you have window guards, be sure that at least one window in each room can be opened easily for escape in case of fire.
ä Open double-hung windows from the top only.
ä Install safety netting to help prevent falls from balconies, decks and landings.
Safety experts recommend that parents and other care providers check these devices frequently to make sure they are secure and properly maintained.