HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A one-year-old boy went to the hospital Saturday night after falling four stories from an apartment building in Holyoke. Residents said the child is lucky to be alive.
Peter Thews said, “It’s very sad and I was surprised that he lived. Unless he fell on a mattress or something I don’t know how he survived”.
Holyoke Police Sergeant Troy Copeland told 22News that police believe the child pushed against the screen of the window and accidentally fell. Copeland said the child was taken to Baystate Medical Center and is expected to be okay. The accident serves as a terrifying reminder that screens don’t make open windows safer.
The National Safety Council reminds home owners screens are made to keep bugs out, not to keep kids in. One woman told 22News accidents like this one have happened before, and she’d like to see the state step up their safety requirements for upper level windows.
Tammy Leichsenring said “There should be a law that after the second floor you should have bars, because a very good friend of mine lost her nephew in Holyoke on Sergeant Street back in the days with no screens no bars and died”.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 3,000 kids are hospitalized every year after falling from a window. Some apartment buildings have started installing “safety windows” that won’t allow children to open them all of the way, but until that’s a requirement, some people question how widely used they will be. Thews said “Probably cause they don’t have to, they don’t want to spend the money on it”.
Michael Morrow said keeping a close eye on his kids is the first thing he does to keep them safe. “I never did anything to make them more reinforced but I did you know just try to make sure to keep an eye on them if the windows were open or if the screen were there,” said Morrow.
The National Safety Council recommends keeping furniture away from windows, and adding limited-opening hardware to windows to keep kids safe.