NEWS

B.C. officials warn of balcony, open window danger

08/18/2012 08:47 EDT | Updated 10/18/2012 05:12 EDT
Officials at B.C. Children's Hospital are warning parents about the dangers of balconies and open windows.

A toddler died Friday night when she fell from a ninth-storey balcony in Surrey. Investigators say the girl got onto the balcony through an open door and climbed over the railing.

At least 10 Lower Mainland children have been taken to hospital after falling out of windows this year.

Dr. Niranjan Kissoon, a critical care physician at B.C. Children's Hospital, says the onus is on parents to prevent accidents.

"I don't think anything beats supervision and keeping a close eye on children."

Kissoon says parents should be mindful of opening windows as the temperature rises.

"The windows only need to be opened sparingly, in other words about four inches or 10 centimetres because toddlers can get through very small spaces."

Officials recommend moving furniture away from windows, installing window guards, closely supervising children near balconies or decks and talking to kids about the dangers of playing near windows.

Parents are also advised to use safety devices like child-proof gates to block balconies.

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