Parental negligence is a primary reason behind incidents of children falling to their deaths from windows and balconies, the Abu Dhabi Police have reiterated.
“The carelessness of parents in taking necessary preventive measures and the absence of supervision over children is one of the most main causes of accidents of children falling from windows and balconies of residential buildings,” said the Police on Saturday.
The police stressed that the safety of children at home is the responsibility of parents and a moment of inattention or negligence could lead to the death of a child.
Authorities in the UAE have on multiple occasions highlighted the need for responsible supervision and shared statistics that prove that negligence is one of the biggest reasons behind such fatal accidents.
In May, a grade 12 student who was reportedly playing football with his brother in his balcony in Dubai fell to death. On March 10, a six-year-old autistic boy fell to death from the 11th floor of his family apartment in Sharjah after he climbed a chair kept near an open window.
Some tips offered to prevent children from falling from windows and balconies are:
• Don’t underestimate a child’s mobility; children begin climbing before they can walk.
• Move furniture and household items away from windows to discourage children from climbing to peer out.
• Be particularly mindful of toddlers, who may climb on anything to get higher.
• Remember that window screens will not prevent children from falling through.
• Install window guards on windows above the ground level. These act as a gate in front of the window.
• Alternatively, fasten your windows so that they cannot open more than 10 centimeters (four inches). Children can fit through spaces as small as 12 centimeters (five inches) wide.
• In either case, ensure there is a safe release option for your windows in case of a house fire.
• Don’t leave children unattended on balconies or decks. Move furniture or planters away from the edges to keep kids from climbing up and over.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of opening and playing near windows, particularly on the upper floors of the home or in a high-rise dwelling.
• Consider installing safety glass in large windows and French doors so they won’t shatter if a child runs or falls into them.