A child falls from a window every 3 weeks in Austria
A child falls out of a window once every third week in Austria and up to three children die each year as a result, according to new research.
The findings were released by the Austrian Road Safety Board (KFV), who analysed 85 instances since 2010 involving children under the age of 15-years-old.
They found that around 70 percent of cases involved children under the age of five and a quarter involved those under the age of three.
“In most cases the children were not home alone. The danger is grossly underestimated,” said the director of the KFV, Othmar Thann, adding that the accidents are easily preventable.
The organisation advised that guardians should never leave a child alone in a room when it is being aired out by an open window and to install windows and balcony doors with locks.
Other advice included keeping chairs and tables away from windows and balcony doors as well as not placing games, or other things that might attract children’s attention, on the windowsills.
The consequences of a fall even if a child survives can still be severe.
Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Surgery at Vienna’s SMZ-Ost hospital, Alexander Rokitansky, warned of internal injuries to the chest and lungs as well potential paraplegic problems.
Although also warning that a fall from just two metres can be deadly if someone lands on their head, he added that falls from the fifth floor "can be survived".