NOT ALL CHILDREN BOUNCE!!
HOW SAFE IS HOME?
Dr Kathryn Edward
Paediatric Rehabilitation Fellow
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
• Leading cause of death and disability in
children aged 1 - 14 years of age.
• Falls are a leading mechanism of injury.
• Cost to the health care system
– $130 million annually
– $28 million is related to hospital inpatient care.
THIS IS NOT A NEW PROBLEM
• New York Study - 1972
– ‘Children Can’t Fly’
– Mandatory window guards led to a marked decrease in the
incidence of children falling from windows.
– ‘Kids Can’t Fly’
– Voluntary installation of window guards again led to a decrease in
falls (not as much as with the New York campaign)
• Chicago - 2005
– Most falls were from modest heights
• 2nd/3rd floor windows
SYDNEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
• Identified children who had been
admitted as a result of a fall from a
• Identify risk factors in order to look at
RISK FACTORS IDENTIFIED
• Young age – particularly under the age of 5 years
• Warmer months – windows are open in summer
• Open windows
• Flyscreens – majority fell through a flyscreen
• Inappropriate furniture placement
• Children love to engage in exploratory
play and often fail to identify potential
• Provides a platform for a child to climb
onto or launch from.
• History of children bouncing on the bed
or a sofa by the window.
• FALLS FROM WINDOWS ARE
• Flyscreens are not physical barriers.
• Parents need to think about window
safety, where furniture is placed and
consider the use of a window lock.
• Building codes need to be reviewed.