Rady Children's Hospital

More children are falling out of windows during summer in San Diego. Here's how to prevent it

The number of children falling out of windows has been increasing 10% every year since 2021

NBC Universal, Inc.

The number of children who have fallen out of their home windows has been increasing every summer for the past few years. Doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital say this summer could be the worst one yet, but it doesn’t have to be.

The falls picked up throughout the pandemic and haven’t slowed down. With more parents working remotely and in hybrid roles, it’s easier to get distracted.

“Even if you're watching, it only takes seconds for injuries to happen,” Sarah Mostofi, the operations manager at the Children's Initiative, said.

Some parents also underestimate their kid’s curiosity.

“Sometimes, there’s those developmental leaps of ‘I didn't know my child could get up there or pull themselves up,'" Matt Derkrikorian, Rady Children’s trauma program manager, said. “Unfortunately, they find out during times where it's not safe.”

That mixed with furniture near windows is a dangerous combination.

Doctors with Rady Children’s and advocates with the Children’s Initiative work on all sides of the same issue.

The number of children falling out of windows has been increasing 10% every year since 2021.

Most of the injuries Rady Children’s treat are with kids 6 and younger. Lower-income families are feeling it the worst.

“Areas that are impacted socioeconomically have more apartment buildings, which can go higher, and there's no regulations or legislation right now in California or San Diego County that require any sort of safety mechanism on those windows,” Derkrikorian said.

This leaves prevention to the parents. The Children’s Initiative hosts free workshops for them.

“The screens are not going to stop them from falling through,” Roxanna Barajas Arenas, parent and community educator with Children’s Initiative, said. “That's where the window locks come in.”

They recommend you only open your window 4 inches. The summer months when more windows are open tend to be the worst for falls in San Diego, but doctors hope this summer will be different.

“We're always trying to lose business, honestly,’ Derkrikorian said. “We’d like to see the kids healthy and not injured.”

The Children’s Initiative works directly with schools to facilitate its free workshops. If any parents are interested, they should let their child’s school know so they can set up a class.

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