When Temperatures Rise Kids Fall from Windows

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baby looking out a window

Four Toddlers Treated at SCVMC since June 17, 2017


Santa Clara County, CA – When temperatures rise, so do the numbers of children who fall from windows. Since June 17th, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has treated 4 toddler patients who have fallen from a 2nd or 3rd story window. 

“With the hot weather, families open their windows. Sometimes children climb up to a window and sadly, take a serious fall,” says Adella Garland, M.D., Director of General Surgery, SCVMC. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking a window screen offers any protection. Screens do not prevent falls, and these falls still happen too often.”

Children under 5 are the most likely to tumble from windows. Here are some tips to prevent window falls.

  • Install window guards and stops. If you rent, ask your landlord to install them.
  • Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. Do not rely on screens, they cannot prevent falls.
  • Install window guards that adults and older children can easily open in case of emergency. 
  • Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches.
  • Always supervise children and keep their play area away from windows.
  • If windows are open, make sure children cannot reach them.
  • Do not place furniture near windows where kids can climb up to window.

Research has shown that boys are more likely than girls to fall out of windows, and they account for 58% of window fall injuries.  Also, one-fourth of the window fall-related injuries required hospitalization, and children under 5 years were more likely to suffer serious injuries from a window fall and three times more likely to suffer a head injury.

“Falls from windows are more common than people think. We need parents and families to be aware of this risk to their child’s safety,” said Sue Kehl, RN, Director of Women and Children’s Services, SCVMC. “Install window guards or stops now and prevent a serious injury to your child from a fall from a window.” 



About the Trauma Center at SCVMC

The Trauma Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has been providing high quality trauma care for over 30 years.  The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has certified the Trauma Center at SCVMC as a Level One Trauma Center. This is highest level of certification possible. The ACS is dedicated to improving the care of surgical patients and safeguarding standards of care in optimal and ethical practice environments. The ACS verifies that a Trauma Center has the resources needed for the optimal care of injured patients, and only those Trauma Centers that have successfully completed an on-site visit are verified by the organization. The Trauma Center at SCVMC is the only Level One center in the City of San Jose and is available 24/7 for the care of injured patients.