Tragedy in Langley tonight, where a four-year-old boy has died after falling from the third storey window of a townhome. Langley RCMP say it happened just before 3 pm near 208th street and 80th avenue in the Willoughby area.
Police say the child was not home alone at the time.
The child was rushed to hospital in critical condition, but did not survive.
The Cononer’s Service and victim’s family are still on scene.
Police say the Serious Crime Section is taking over the investigation, but say at this point, the death appears to be an accident.
“Oh my god… See I know how lucky we are”
Those words, and a warning, from a Mission mother who’s own toddler fell from a window in 2012.
“I peeked around the corner and the screen was missing from the window and I knew she had fallen out. I didn’t even look out the window, I just knew that she had gone.”
Aileen Busanic’s four-year-old daughter fell from the window of her two-storey apartment, suffering serious injuries but surviving.
“Broken her jaw in three or four places, she had severed underneath her chin and it cut right in through her mouth.”
Her message to all parents:
“Get you windows checked, don’t rely on screens. I had no idea that there’s a rule. They told me in the hospital that about 10 cm is the furthest you open your windows, and then you put your locks on them.”
Busanic says her daughter fully recovered.
BC Emergency Health Services says paramedics respond to approximately 15 calls a year involving young children who fall from a window or balcony.
This year, The BC Ambulance Service have already treated at least five kids.
Dr. Sheldon Glazer is a former ER doctor at Royal Columbian Hospital, he says children falling is not uncommon, particularly in summer.
He warns parents of the potential dangers.
“There’s all kinds of trauma that can happen to any part of the body. There’s head trauma, trauma to the thorax, there the rupture of vessels.”
Glazer says that’s just the beginning of the list.
He’s urging parents with younger kids to be extra careful, he says sometimes parents don’t realize it’s easy for toddlers to climb onto furniture and reach a window.
Tips from BCAS on window safety for children
- Don’t underestimate a child’s mobility; children begin climbing before they can walk.
- Move household items away from windows to discourage children from climbing to peer out. Toddlers may use anything as a step stool to get higher.
- Be aware that window screens will not prevent children from falling through – they keep bugs out, not children in.
- Install window guards on windows above the ground level. These act as a gate in front of the window.
- Or, fasten the windows, so that they cannot open more than 10 centimetres (four inches). Children can fit through spaces as small as 12 centimetres (five inches) wide. In either case, ensure there is a safe release option in case of a house fire.
- Don’t leave children unattended on balconies or decks. Move furniture or planters away from the edges as kids can climb up and over.
- Talk to your children about the dangers of opening and playing near windows, particularly on upper floors of the home.