In the span of a week, two young children fell from balconies and open windows in Metro Vancouver, raising alarms with health practitioners and first responders.
A three-year-old was leaning on a screened window in Surrey when it gave way on Sunday. RCMP said in a statement the toddler fell two storeys to a patio below. The child was taken to hospital for overnight observation.
On Friday, another toddler fell several storeys from a balcony at a Richmond apartment building. The Richmond Fire Department said the child — who's under the age of six — was awake and talking when first responders arrived but sustained serious lower body injuries.
Both children are expected to make full recoveries.
The incidents have prompted renewed warnings from officials who say it's paramount that parents and guardians childproof windows and doors — especially during the hot summer months.
"Unfortunately, every year we see a number of these injuries and some of them are very, very serious injuries with fractured bones, surgery, head injury, spinal cord injury and even death," said Dr. Ash Singhal, a pediatric neurosurgeon at B.C. Children's Hospital.
"An easy rule to remember, is about the size of an adult fist is about how much a window should be able to open. There's lots of devices that we can buy to prevent it from opening too much," he added.
The Surrey RCMP echoed those warnings.
"With the continued warm weather, windows will be open with only a screen in place, and children can easily fall through them and serious injury can easily and quickly occur without warning," the statement said.
More than 140 children fell from windows and balconies across B.C. between 2009 and 2015. In the majority of cases, they were under the age of six.
With files from Bal Brach