Albany Police are not releasing the name of the parents or of the toddler, but they say a 2-year-old boy’s bed was pushed up against a third story window at the Wildflower Apartments on SE Geary St. Police say after his nap on Wednesday afternoon, he opened the window, pushed the screen out, and fell into the bushes three floors below. Besides a few scratches, police say the boy is doing just fine.
Fire crews say the fall is a good reminder for parents to make sure their windows are secure to prevent their kids from falling out.
“It’s amazing that a child fell through a third story window and made it out ok,” said neighbor Kyle Hermann. “I mean that could have ended a whole lot worse. It’s one of those things that you don’t expect right down the road.”
But according to the Albany Fire Department, in the United States, the number one cause for non-fatal injuries to kids are from falls.
Wanda Omdahl, the spokesperson with the Fire Department, recommends that parents with young children only keep their windows open 4 inches wide.
“Now if kids can push the windows up easily, then that wouldn’t be as good,” she said. “So you could do things like window stops or window wedges that only let you open the window so high or so wide. But the caveat to that is you want to have a release on it so that if you did have a fire, and you needed to go out that window because you couldn’t get our your door, that window is accessible.”
Other neighbors in the area say they understand why it is so common for kids to fall out of windows. One mom, Donna Hernandez, says a different neighbor’s child fell out of a second-story window a few years ago, and is also ok.
“I don’t blame a parent for it,” she said. “You could turn your back and a child’s pushing on a window and not realize it happened. You just need to be more aware.”
Hernandez says the situation was similar to the one police reported this week: a child was leaning against a screen, and it popped out.
“People seem to think that a screen is going to protect a child from falling out a window,” Hernandez said. “Which it doesn’t. They just fall right through.”
Omdahl says screens can be good protectors – only if they are firmly in place.
“We’ve all seen the screens that you just push it and it falls out,” she said. “So that’s not going to help kids keep from falling out a window.”
Albany Police say this week’s fall at the Wildflower Apartments is not a neglect case, and they are not pressing charges. They say the Department of Human Services is involved because of the window safety concerns.
“It’s unusual around here because we don’t have very many tall buildings,” Omdahl said. “But across the country where you have high-rises and other tall buildings, it’s a big concern.”