Childhood Falls from Balconies and Railings- Media Research

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2 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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Childhood Falls from Balconies
and Railings
-

Media Research

Presented by Doug Bracken

President Wiemann Ironworks

Tulsa, OK

Search Purpose


Find as many news and web stories that relate
to children falling from balconies and railings as
possible, regardless of how the incident occurs.
Hopefully, news stories will provide eyewitness
accounts and other pertinent information that is
not present in any of the CPSC or NEISS Data.


Present this data in an unbiased manner to the
CTC committee.

Search Focus


Falls for any reason listed or shown from
Balconies and Railings involving Children
between the ages of 0
-
4 years old.

Search Strings and Media Used


Childhood Falls From Balcony and Railings (ies)


Infant Falls From Balcony and Railings (ies)


Toddler Falls From Balcony and Railings (ies)


Child Falls From Balcony and Railings (ies)


Child Falls, Toddler Falls,Balcony Falls, Railing falls, Child Railing,
Toddler Lanai, Toddler railing, Infant falls, Infant railing, Toddler
Climbing, Infant Climbing, Etc.




Google; News, Images and Web


Yahoo; News, Images Web


HighBeam Research


Multiple News media searches such as MSN, MSNBC, CNN etc.



Search findings that were omitted


Falls from Windows


Falls from Vehicles


Falls from buildings or other structures that
had no eyewitness or reasonable
explanation as to how the incident
occurred.


Falls in children older than 4

Unscientific Findings


(in round numbers)


In all 32 news reports are used for this analysis and from those:


91% of falls in this age group from balconies involve unattended children


9% (the balance) of falls involve children who were deliberately thrown or
dropped accidentally by the caregiver.


45% of falls appear to be a result of children “slipping between the rails” or
children falling through the railings because of defect. I have labeled these
as “
Fall Through”

and
“Fall Through/Defective”


18% of falls appear to be due to children climbing furniture or other items
left on the balcony. I have labeled these as “
Climbing Furniture”


24% appears to be a result of climbing the railing of unspecified height with
no immediate witness and no mention of railing design except in the
examples shown which were picket type rails. Because of this lack of solid
evidence I have labeled these
“Unspecific Climbing



3% appears to have climbed a solid wall of unspecified height or design. I
have labeled this “
Climb Solid Wall”



Climbing Solid Wall


Boy, 4, miraculously survives balcony fall



New Straits Times; 3/31/2005



GEORGE TOWN, Wed.
-

A
four
-
year
-
old boy

miraculously survived after he

fell from the second floor of the Bandar Perda flat in Bukit Mertajam

last Sunday.

The incident happened about 2.30pm when Mohd Idham Jamil was playing

with his sister, Siti Soleha, 5, on the
balcony.

He fractured both wrists

and sustained bruises on his face.

Mohd Idham was rushed to the nearby Bukit Mertajam Hospital and later

transferred to Penang Hospital for further observation.

His mother, Maria Ahmad, 32, said the incident happened seconds after

she went into the room to put away the clothes which she had folded

earlier.

Recalling the incident, Maria said she had seen the two siblings

playing happily by the
balcony

and thought that it was acceptable to

leave them alone for a minute.

"All of a sudden, I heard Siti calling out to me, saying that Mohd

Idham had fallen over


the
balcony.

I rushed out from the room and by then

there was already a commotion on the ground floor.

"I was shocked when I saw Mohd Idham lying in a pool of blood and

crying in pain," she told reporters when met at Penang Hospital today.

Mohd Idham's hands were in a cast and he was wearing a neck brace. His

face was also swollen and there were bruises on the outer part of his

left eye.

Maria said she was surprised Mohd Idham had fallen since the
balcony


wall was rather high, adding there was no chair near the wall.

"But then, Mohd Idham is a very active boy. I think he might have tried

to climb up the wall and must have slipped and fallen,"

she added.

Earlier, Maria received a mini hamper and goodie bag from State police

chief Deputy Commissioner Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee and his wife,

Datin Kong Suit Mui, who is also the Penang Association of Police

Families (Perkep) chairman, in conjunction with the 198th Police Day.

Some 100 children from the hospital's paediatric unit also received a

hamper and goodie bag each. Also present were Wan's deputy Senior

Assistant Commissioner Mohd Ali Mohd Yusof and northeast district police

chief Assistant Commissioner Hamzah Md Jamil.

Monday, November

22, 2004

A second high
-
rise death underscores

the dangers of lanais

By Rosemarie Bernardo

rbernardo@starbulletin.com

The mother of a 3
-
year
-
old boy who died in a fatal high
-
rise fall in Moiliili cried in anguish yesterday as she sat in the parki
ng garage where
her son was found.

Friends and neighbors consoled the boy's mother and father, Edward Reiser, who discovered their son on the second level of th
e o
pen
-
air
parking garage.

The toddler, identified by friends and neighbors as Eddie Reiser III, was pronounced dead at Queen's Medical Center Saturday
aft
er he fell
eight floors from his balcony.

Police said the fall appeared to be accidental. The toddler was the couple's only child.

This is the second fatal high
-
rise fall involving a toddler on Oahu within the last four months.

On Aug. 9, 2
-
year
-
old Exodus Berger fell from the 14th floor of a University Avenue apartment building. Police said he apparentl
y fell while
climbing on a lanai railing of the Ala Wai Plaza at 500 University Ave. Police said he was found lifeless by his nanny.

Reiser, a math professor and tutor, said he

locked his son in the apartment of the "C" building of Hono Hale Towers at 2648 Kuilei St. to
discipline him while he stood outside the front door.


Reiser said he went to check on the boy a few minutes later after he did not hear him crying, and discovered the boy on the s
eco
nd level of the
parking garage
. Neighbors said the boy's mother was at work when the fall occurred.

Friends and neighbors described Eddie Reiser III as an active boy who enjoyed swimming at the neighborhood pool. He would go
swi
mming
twice a day with his father, said neighbor Richard Chase.

Chase said Reiser's father is an "extremely attentive" parent, and he was surprised to hear about the fall. "Everybody was am
aze
d that this
happened to him," Chase said.

Fatal high
-
rise falls are uncommon in Hawaii, said Eric Tash, manager of the state Department of Health's Injury Prevention and
Control
Program.

But Tash said it is important for parents to safeguard their high
-
rise lanais and windows. He said lanai doors should be kept lo
cked, preferably
with childproof locks. Locks should be placed high on the doors so they are not accessible to children.

Furniture, ladders or other items that children can stack or climb should also be cleared away from the balcony.

"Because children are inquisitive, they'll try to play on things. They're pretty creative," he said.

Tash also said children should always be under adult supervision while they are on the lanai.

He reminded parents to make sure their windows are locked and to have bars or childproof screens.

Unspecific Climbing



Denver Rocky Mountain News; 11/27/2002; Michael BeDan; ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

11
-
27
-
2002


BOY, 2,
FALLS

OFF
BALCONY

UNATTENDED
TODDLER

INJURED IN TUMBLE FROM SECOND FLOOR


A 2
-
year
-
old boy left alone briefly in an apartment Tuesday afternoon fell from a second
-
floor
balcony
,

landing on his
head and suffering numerous injuries.

The boy was in fair condition at Children's Hospital hours after he fell.


The boy's mother faces possible child neglect charges
, Aurora police Detective Rudy Herrera said.

``In every case where a child is injured and left unattended, we are looking at neglect,'' he said. ``You should not
leave a child that age at home unattended.''

Police did not identify the woman, but Herrera said she is not in custody.

Police were questioning her shortly after paramedics arrived at the Buckingham Station Apartments and transported
the boy to Children's Hospital. The boy's father arrived shortly after the 2
-
year
-
old fell.

``He was visibly upset,'' Herrera said.

Police believe that the mother left the child at the apartment while she went to pick up another child at a bus stop,
Herrera said. The woman told police the boy was sleeping when she left.

A 13
-
year
-
old neighbor said she saw the boy climb over the wooden
balcony

barrier and fall.

``I was going out to check the mail, and I heard him crying,'' Angela Hughes
-
Pedersen said. ``He was yelling,
'Mommy.' He was climbing over the rail, and he fell and landed on his head. I picked him up, and (neighbors) called
911.''

Angela said the boy fell near some shrubs beneath the
balcony,

landing in an area landscaped with small rocks.

A spokeswoman at Children's would not disclose the boy's injuries, but Herrera said he might have broken his arms
and suffered head injuries.

Copyright © 2002, Denver Publishing Co.

Unspecific Climbing

Qld:Toddler survives balcony fall


AAP General News (Australia); 8/25/2005

08
-
25
-
2005


Qld:Toddler

survives
balcony

fall


BRISBANE, Aug 25 AAP
-

A
toddler

who plunged three metres from the
balcony

of his grandparents'

Brisbane home has escaped with minor injuries.


Two
-
year
-
old Aidan Bell was playing with a dog on the
balcony

of his his grandparents'

house in the north west suburb of Ferny Hills
before apparently climbing the railing

and

falling three metres to the ground.


"I realised everything was quiet and he wasn't with the dog and I looked over and I

looked over and he was crying on the grass, so
he's obviously scaled the rail

and gone

over," the boy's grandmother Sylvia Campbell told Ten News.


The boy suffered only a small graze on his forehead but was taken to hospital for observation

and X
-
rays.


AAP rad/lma/jlw


KEYWORD:
TODDLER



Unspecific Climbing

Unspecific Climbing


Lowell girl in critical condition after balcony fall.(News)




The Boston Herald; 4/25/2001; Sweet, Laurel J.


A 2
-
year
-
old Lowell girl plummeted nearly 30 feet off an apartment
balcony

yesterday afternoon, landing headfirst
on a paved walkway, police said.


Kelsey Langat, who was allegedly out of her mother's view for only a minute or two, was in critical condition last
night at New England Medical Center's Floating Hospital for Children in Boston.


"She suffered severe head injuries," said Patrick Cook, spokesman for Lowell police. "It was a very sad and
unfortunate accident."


According to Cook, the girl and her mother, Cyndy Langat, are both sick and were napping inside their Wood
Street apartment just prior to the 5 p.m. tragedy.


"The mother got up to use the bathroom and while she was in the bathroom the
child

went through the living room
and outside onto the
balcony

through a sliding
-
glass door," he said.


"She toppled over the railing 25 to 30 feet to the ground
. The whole thing was very quick."


Cyndy Langat is not facing charges, but investigators are trying to determine if the glass door was closed or
opened by the
child.



Cook said the mother learned what had happened when a neighbor started banging on her apartment door.


The neighbor, Seng Chanthaboun, last night told Fox 25 News, "I couldn't believe my eyes. I see the baby down
on the ground. I knocked on the door. I said, 'Your daughter fell out.' She said, 'Where? Where's my daughter?'
She went down to look and was screaming."


When police arrived, "The mother was cradling the
child

in her arms," Cook said.


COPYRIGHT 2001 Boston Herald

Unspecific Climbing

Child falls from second
-
floor balcony

11/16/2005 8:52 AM

By: News 14 Carolina



CHARLOTTE, N.C.


A young girl is recovering after a two
-
story fall Tuesday night in south Charlotte.


The 4
-
year
-
old fell from the balcony of her apartment on Otter Creek Drive.

Medics transported the girl to the hospital where she was treated and released. Her injuries were said to be
minor.

Unspecific Climbing


Toddler's death leads to balcony safety call.(News)




The Birmingham Post (England); 1/6/2000


A coroner yesterday urged holiday firms to highlight the dangers of balconies after a 23
-
month
-
old British boy plunged 30ft to h
is death
from a Turkish hotel.


Brandon Bamforth's injuries were "incompatible to life" after
he fell from the
balcony

chasing his ball

at the resort of Altinkum.


His parents Jamie, aged 30, and Naomi, aged 26, were in their apartment when it happened in June 1998.


Recording a verdict of accidental death on Brandon, Kirklees coroner Mr Roger Whittaker said: "I shall report the matter to t
he
Association
of British Travel Agents.


"Also, there should be a general warning to all those going on holiday to be particularly careful," he said at Huddersfield C
oro
ner's Court.


Mr and Mrs Bamforth, of Marsden, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, were just a few days into their holiday with Brandon and
his

older
brother, three
-
year
-
old Jordan.


The inquest heard that Jordan came to Mr Bamforth and said Brandon
had thrown his ball over the edge of the
balcony.



Mr Bamforth said: "Just as I was speaking to Naomi
I saw from the corner of my eye Brandon's legs going up into the air
."


A qualified first
-
aider, Mr Bamforth rushed to try to resuscitate his son who was then taken to hospital where he was pronounced

dead. Mr
and Mrs Bamforth were charged by Turkish police with death through negligence or carelessness, which is the standard practice

in

the
country.


The charges were later dropped and the couple were cleared in May last year.


Miss Joanna Priodromou, who was a representative for Sunset Holidays at the resort, told the hearing that at the welcome meet
ing
s all
safety aspects were covered.


She said there was also a booklet with safety aspects highlighted available at the hotel reception.


Mrs and Mrs Bamforth and another holidaymaker told the inquest that no mention of balconies was made at the welcome meeting.


Miss Priodromou said: "People do not want to be at welcome meetings. Many people find them very boring. People often come up
afterwards and ask me a question about something I have already covered."


Mr Whittaker said: "People should be aware that fatalities can and have taken place and I believe it's important that a speci
al
notice
should be placed in rooms.


"A fall from that height leads to death. There is no way barring a miracle that a small child could survive a fall from that
hei
ght."


After the inquest Mr Bamforth said the matter was now in the hands of their solicitor.


COPYRIGHT 2000 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd

Unspecific Climbing


Boy, two, dies in flats plunge.(News)




The Mirror (London, England); 8/8/1997


A
toddler

died yesterday in a fall from the 12th floor of a
tower block.


The two
-
year
-
old is thought to have climbed over a
balcony

while his mother was inside the flat.



Paramedics battled to save him but he died from a
fractured skull and heart attack before reaching hospital.


A neighbour in Acton, west London, said: "It's dreadful,
he was lovely."


Tuesday, September 9, 2003



By KAREN MAHABIR and MICHELLE HAN

STAFF WRITERS

LITTLE FERRY
-

A 13
-
month
-
old baby remained hospitalized Monday after falling about 20 feet from the third
-
floor balcony of a
condominium on Liberty Street, police said.

The boy, whom police did not identify, landed on a concrete patio and suffered head and face trauma, Police Chief Ralph Verdi

said. He was initially listed in critical condition at the Hackensack University Medical Center, but his condition improved
Monday, the chief said.

Verdi said the child was on the balcony with a 17
-
year
-
old sister when he somehow fell, while the mother was inside
. Police on
Monday were still trying to determine exactly what happened and said no charges had been filed.

Police and emergency medical personnel responded to the Ledgewood Terrace condo complex at 9:56 a.m. Sunday, after receiving
numerous 911 calls, the chief said. The child was conscious at the time, he said.

A man, who said he was at the scene but did not want to be identified, described the child's mother as "screaming and crying"

an
d
"hysterical."

"I got there and she was squeezing the baby so tight," he said. "Everyone ... was trying to get her to relax. ... She was a g
ood

mother.
She was upset."

The family has no history with the state Division of Youth and Family Services, and the boy's father had even measured the sp
ace
s
between the bars on the balcony before the accident to be sure they were safe for a small child, said Joe Delmar, an agency
spokesman.

Delmar said authorities were looking into the matter as part of its standard practice, but so far the child's fall appeared t
o b
e an
accident.

"He's very lucky, I guess," said Verdi. "Twenty feet, that's pretty far, especially for a 13
-
month
-
old."

E
-
mail: mahabir@northjersey.com and han@northjersey.com

Unspecific/Caregiver?

Caregiver


BABY RECEIVES MINOR INJURIES IN TWO
-
STORY FALL.(LOCAL)




The Virginian Pilot; 1/29/2002


Byline: THE VIRGINIAN
-
PILOT


NORFOLK
--

A month
-
old
infant

who fell two stories from his mother's arms off the
balcony

of an
Ocean View apartment building Monday appeared to have suffered only minor injuries, police
said.


The mother, whom police did not identify, stepped onto the
balcony

and tripped about 1:15 p.m.
at the apartment in the 9500 block of 2nd Bay St., police spokesman Chris Amos said.
She fell
forward, became wedged between wooden railings surrounding the
balcony

and lost her grip on
the newborn, he said. She then freed herself and ran downstairs to the baby.


When police and paramedics arrived, the baby was crying and kicking, Amos said. The
infant

suffered abrasions on his face and was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where tests
showed no other injuries, Amos said.


The child was transferred to Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters for observation.


The incident is under investigation, Amos said.


COPYRIGHT 2002 The Virginian Pilot
-
Ledger Star. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the
permission of the Dialog Corporation by Gale Group.

Caregiver

Toddler recovering from gunshot, fall from balcony

By the Associated Press

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)
-

A toddler remained hospitalized after being shot and thrown off a second
-
story
apartment balcony, authorities said.

The child's father also was shot in the back and stabbed several times in the arms Tuesday, police said. He told
officers that his former girlfriend, who is the little girl's mother, had shot him.

The woman, Aisha Bailey, 26, was found in the area taken to jail, said police Lt. Jesse Hernandez. She faces a
charge of attempted capital murder and one of attempted murder.

"The focus of our investigation is to try to determine whether or not the father was holding the child at the time of the
shooting and if the mother intended to shoot the child," said Sgt. Dave Stamp, supervisor of the Crimes Against
Children Unit.

When emergency crews arrived after a 911 call about 11:30 a.m., they found the wounded father, 27, and daughter
inside the apartment complex office, where the man had driven. The child is 12 to 18 months old, police said. Their
names were not released.

Police said the toddler was shot in the upper left leg and had other injuries, and investigators were trying to determine
who threw her off the balcony.

The girl apparently lived at the apartment with her father. On the ground below the balcony, officers found a
semiautomatic handgun and a small kitchen knife.


Child dies after fall

By DANNY GALLAGHER McKinney Courier
-
Gazette

Two weeks after a seven month old infant accidentally drowned in a bathtub in Allen, an 11
-
month
-
old infant died in what police
are
calling “just a tragic, freak accident,” Allen Police Capt. Robert Flores said.


Ezri Jadzia Galdiano died Wednesday after falling down a staircase while she was being carried by her babysitter at her home

in the
1300 block of Normandy Lane. Allen police officers learned the baby sitter, Ann Perry, was carrying the child down a staircas
e w
hen
she suddenly lost her balance and fell. Galdiano struck her head during the fall and lost consciousness, Flores said.


Perry called 911 at 9:15 a.m. Paramedics arrived and administered first aid on the child. A medical helicopter later flew her

to

Children Medical Center in Dallas, where she was pronounced dead, Flores said.


The incident is still under investigation by the Allen Police Department. Flores said Galdiano's autopsy is scheduled to be p
erf
ormed
by the Dallas County medical examiner later today.


This marks the second infant death in Allen in the last two weeks. Eight
-
month
-
old Gloria Xaria Gervas passed away on Tuesday,
Nov. 1 after she drowned in a bathtub. The infant's caregiver told police she was drawing a bath and left the child unattente
d f
or a
few moments. When she came back, she said the child was underwater. She was pronounced dead at Medical Center of McKinney.
A preliminary investigation revealed Gervas' death to also be accidental.

Caregiver

Climbing Furniture


Lawrence boy critical after 3
-
story fall.(News)




The Boston Herald; 8/23/2002


A 3
-
year
-
old Lawrence boy was in critical condition last night after plummeting 20 feet
onto a driveway yesterday.


Ernesto Carrasco was apparently playing with his 5
-
year
-
old brother on the second
-
floor
balcony

of a High Street triple
-
decker when he went over the railing, police said.


The boy was sitting on a bicycle that was leaning against the balusters when a dollar
bill he was holding blew away. He fell over as he reached for the bill,

said Lawrence
Police Chief John Romero.


The
toddler,

suffering from obvious head trauma, was breathing but unconscious
when police arrived, Romero said.


He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital and then flown by helicopter to
Children's Hospital in Boston.


The boys' mother was inside the home but not on the back porch when the accident
happened. Police consider the fall an accident but are investigating to see whether
the railing was high enough to meet building code, Romero said.


COPYRIGHT 2002 Boston Herald

Climbing Furniture

Toddler who fell was active boy, mom says


By Peter Boylan

Advertiser Staff Writer

Exodus Berger was a beach boy, his mom said, a child who loved sprinting through the sand near his grandma's Hale'iwa house.


Exodus Berger fell 14 stories to
his death on Sunday.


McLeod family photo

"
He was a very loving child," said Vida Berger, in a telephone interview from Las Vegas, where she is away on business. "He li
ked

swimming, and he was always
climbing and jumping."

Exodus, who recently celebrated his second birthday,
fell to his death Sunday afternoon after climbing onto a metal storage rack and falling over the railing of his
mother's 14th
-
story apartment on University Avenue.

He was pronounced dead at the scene in what police are calling a tragic accident.

The city medical examiner's office said yesterday that Exodus died of internal injuries related to the fall. Police said ther
e w
as no finding of wrongdoing.

Exodus' nanny,
Brandi Shanks, was making lunch in the kitchen of the two
-
story unit when the accident occurred

at around 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

The youngster's death was the first caused by a fall from a high
-
rise involving a child age 4 or younger since March 1999, accor
ding to the state Department of
Health's Injury Prevention Program.

Since 1991, seven children age 4 or younger have died after falling from high
-
rises in Hawai'i, state officials said. All seven
deaths occurred on O'ahu


five
downtown and one in 'Aiea.

"For lanais especially, it is important to make sure that kids can't climb up the railing," said Eric Tash, manager of the In
jur
y Prevention Program.

Sunday's fatal fall was "terrible," Tash said, "and a lot of lanais are made fairly childproof, but if you leave things aroun
d,
children are pretty resourceful, which is a
real problem."

Tash said parents of small children who live in high
-
rises should make sure that there is no furniture on the lanai that a child

could climb. He said if the balcony railing
is picketed, the openings between the pickets should be no more than 2 1/2 inches apart, which is no wider than a small fist.


He said that parents should cover and lock windows within a toddler's reach with grilles or child
-
proof screens and that parents

should always supervise children when
they are on the lanai.

"Injuries are preventable," Tash said. "A lot of times, people are not aware of the steps they can take to protect their chil
dre
n."

The best way to make sure nothing happens, he said, is to lock the balcony door.

Lanais on residential high
-
rises are regulated by the city.

Eric Crispin, the city's director of planning and permitting, said the basic code states that picketed railings have to be sp
ace
d so that a 4
-
inch sphere cannot pass
between them. Railings also must be at least 42 inches high, he said.

"We don't regulate furniture or equipment," said Crispin.

Yesterday, Vida Berger, Exodus' mother, said she has been gone for about a month, trying to earn money to pay off some of the

de
bts she has incurred as a single
mother.

The boy's father, Jason McLeod, 28, who works at a tattoo parlor, also looked after the boy in the evenings when he wasn't wo
rki
ng, said McLeod's mother, Linda
Kamakaokalani Orosco.

"I told them how many times to lock the sliding doors. Jason would tell the girl (Shanks) to keep things away from the balcon
y b
ecause one day Exodus would climb
up on it. He's into everything at his age," said Orosco.

Orosco said her son is distraught, unable to believe his child is dead.

Reach Peter Boylan at 535
-
8110 or
pboylan@honoluluadvertiser.com
.

16
-
Month
-
Old Dies After Fall From Balcony

Boy's Grandmother, Aunt Questioned

POSTED: 5:26 pm EST December 6, 2004

UPDATED: 8:31 am EST December 7, 2004

MIAMI
--

A 16
-
month
-
old boy died Monday after falling
from a fifth
-
floor balcony at an East Little Havana
apartment complex.


Slideshow:

Toddler Falls From Balcony


Miami police spokesman Lt. Bill Schwartz said
detectives believe that the boy climbed a chair to
get over the 4
-
foot railing on the balcony.

Javan suffered severe head trauma and was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he later
died.

Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll said rescue workers tried to resuscitate the child
even as they pulled up to the hospital.

The child's grandmother and aunt were in the apartment at the time. Schwartz said both were
being questioned at the police department.

"Clearly the grandmother and aunt were not watching the child," Schwartz said. "He got out on to
the balcony, falling to his death."

At this time, no charges have been filed.

Trujillo's mother, 17
-
year
-
old Angelina Paz, and great grandfather also live in the apartment,
which is located on Northwest Second Street


Cimbing furniture

Climbing Furniture


TODDLER TUMBLES 40ft AND SURVIVES; Lucky Amy only breaks a hip and arm after balcony fall.(News)


Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland); 8/29/1999; Hall, Stuart


A
TODDLER

was recovering in hospital yesterday after surviving a three
-

storey plunge from a
balcony.



Amy Miller, two, tumbled 40ft to the ground, narrowly missing a
balcony

and a wall below.


She landed on grass just inches from a concrete path and suffered a broken hip and arm.


She had climbed on top of an old television set used to prevent her family's 11
-

week
-
old puppy from slipping through the
balcony

railings.


But the safety measure at her home in Glamis Road, Kirkcaldy, Fife, proved to be a recipe for disaster for Amy as she tumbled

ov
er the
edge.


She was rushed to Dunfermline's Queen Margaret Hospital and then transferred to Edinburgh's Sick Children's Hospital.


Shocked and relieved mum Michelle Miller, 19, who was working at the time of the accident, said: "She is a very lucky wee gir
l."



Neighbour and mother of two Tracey Gray, 29, watched helplessly as the youngster fell to the ground on Friday night.


She said: "I was walking home when I saw Amy standing on the
balcony.

I thought she was too high. The next minute, she fell."


Tracey sprinted 200 yards to the tot's side shouting for Amy's stepdad, Gordon Ashley, 23, who had been watching Amy and Moll
ie,

his
ten
-

month
-
old daughter to Michelle.


Tracey said: "She was obviously in pain and crying and I held her hand to try to calm her.


"But I did not move her because I did not know what breaks she had. I keep picturing Amy falling in my head."


Gordon said: "I had the children in their jammies and was putting Mollie to bed. Amy must have opened the door and gone out.


"When I came down from upstairs, I could not find Amy.


"I peeked over the
balcony

and one of the neighbours was running by and shouting that she had fallen.


"I got to her but I did not want to move her as she was very quiet.


"Like anyone, I thought she must have been seriously hurt falling from that height."


Gordon added: "I am never going to feel good about what happened.


"I will always feel I could have done something to stop it."


An official at the Edinburgh hospital said Amy had been moved from intensive care and described her condition as "stable".


COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday

Climbing Furniture


TODDLER CLIMBS ON HIGH CHAIR AND FALLS 30FT OVER A BALCONY.




The Daily Mail (London, England); 6/28/2003; Beavan, Andrew


Byline: ANDREW BEAVAN


THE parents of a
toddler

who fell 30ft from a second
-
floor
balcony

face an agonising 24
-
hour wait to learn the full extent of his injuries.


Thomas McCracken, who is 20 months old, plunged to the ground after climbing over the verandah while his mother's back was tu
rne
d for
a moment.


He landed headfirst on the grass in his back garden
-

narrowly missing concrete paving.


He remained concious and was taken to the Sick Children's Hospital at Yorkhill, Glasgow.


Thomas was able to move his arms and legs and speak to his family.


But on arrival at Glasgow's Yorkhill Sick Children's Hospital, an examination revealed he had fractured his skull in four pla
ces
.


Scans were sent from the hospital to a neurological unit at the Southern General Hospital.


Mother Donna Somerville, 20, and father Colin McCracken were at his bedside last night
-

but must wait a


further 24 hours before their son's condition can be fully diagnosed.


Thomas was at home in Drumry Road East, Drumchapel, Glasgow, with his mother, his cousin and grandparents when the accident
happened at around 2pm on Thursday.


It is understood he climbed on to his baby chair and over the
balcony.



His horrified mother turned to see where he was and when she rushed to the
balcony,

looked down and saw him lying on the grass.


A neighbour said: 'He was playing and then just climbed onto his baby seat and then on to the verandah.


'Donna was screaming
-

she was hysterical and in a real state. She ran down the stairs in tears. The family were totally petrifi
ed, they
were scared of what they would see.' A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: 'Our inquiries are continuing although there do not

ap
pear to
be any suspicious circumstances.'


COPYRIGHT 2003 Solo Syndication Limited

A little girl is expected to make a full recovery after she fell over the rail of her parent’s second
-
floor
apartment balcony Sunday evening.


“The child had been out on the balcony with her mom," North Cowichan/ Duncan RCMP Cst. Gail
Walker said Tuesday, "and when mom got up from the chair and went inside for a minute,
the girl
climbed onto the chair and over the rail."


The three
-
year
-
old fell 12 feet to the ground, sustaining serious head injuries and bruises. She was
rushed to hospital in Victoria.


Walker said the child is now “conscious, sitting up and talking and is expected to make a full recovery.”


Walker said the name of the girl and her family is not being released and there are no plans for police
to proceed with charges.


She cautions parents to be careful when it comes to kids and balconies.


“This girl climbed onto the chair after her mom left it,” said Walker. “You can keep kids safe by not
leaving these sorts of items


and that includes things like planters or anything a child can climb up on


out of the reach of kids.”"


Posted on Tuesday, August 06 @ 17:44:07 PDT by ts

Climbing Furniture

CLEARWATER
-

The family of a Pennsylvania boy who fell three stories from a Clearwater Beach hotel balcony last year is suing th
e hotel, saying the balcony
railings were unsafe.

The boy, 16
-
month
-
old Jacob Murray, slipped through the railings of the Howard Johnson Beach View Resort

and fell 27 feet to the concrete below. He
survived the fall but suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized for about two months.

"It's amazing he survived," said Bill Wagner, a Tampa attorney who is representing Jacob and his parents, Dennis and Tammy Mu
rra
y.

Wagner said he is researching whether the hotel should have had less space between its balcony railings. The lawsuit was file
d M
ay 24 in Pinellas circuit
court.

Emanuel Naim, a spokesman for Howard Johnson International, said, "We don't comment on pending litigation." Messages left wit
h t
he manager's office at the
hotel, 325 S Gulfview Blvd., were not returned.

The hotel was built when codes required that the railings be no more than 6 inches apart. Though codes since then have thinne
d t
he required space to 4
inches, the hotel may not have been required to meet the new standards.

Wagner said the hotel's railings are about 51/2 inches apart.

A review by the city's code enforcement department found the hotel in compliance with the codes,
according to city records.

However, Wagner said, the hotel at one time had plans to renovate the facility, which included thinner
-
spaced balcony railings.
He planned to explore whether
the hotel ever renovated to a point that codes would have required new and safer balcony railings.

Either way, Wagner said, the hotel was negligent because it didn't place any warning signs on the balcony. Wagner said he vis
ite
d the hotel room several
weeks ago and saw that the railings were the same and that no warning signs had been put up.

"It would be simple to put a sticker in the window," Wagner said. "That wasn't done."

Reached at her home in State College, Pa., Tammy Murray referred all questions to the family's attorneys.

The fall occurred about 7:30 a.m. Oct. 3. Dennis Murray was visiting the area for a convention and brought his wife and two s
ons
, Jacob and Lucas, 3, with
him.

That morning, Dennis Murray took his two sons out on the balcony. Birds fluttered by. A tractor raked the sand on the beach.
The

boys laughed.

Lucas darted back into the room. Dennis Murray turned his head briefly to watch him go.

Jacob remained on the balcony. Still in his pajamas, he padded toward the vertical rails.

Then he was gone.

His father saw him slip through and grabbed for his pajama top, but it was too late. Jacob fell 27 feet to the ground. The 25
-
po
und boy landed on the concrete
near the pool. People who came to his aid saw a pacifier near him.

Dennis Murray cried to his wife to dial 911.

Wagner said it had never crossed Dennis Murray's mind that his son could fit through the bars.

"This man wasn't letting the child on the balcony by himself," Wagner said. "It just didn't sink in to him that the child cou
ld
fall through."

Down below, Jacob was breathing but unresponsive. There was an obvious bruise on his head but no blood. Paramedics considered

hi
s injuries life
-
threatening and summoned a helicopter to carry Jacob to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. A chaplain was called to a
ssi
st the family.

"He just walked through
," Dennis Murray told a Clearwater police officer who responded to the accident.

Doctors determined Jacob had suffered multiple skull fractures and had bleeding on his brain. His left leg also was fractured
.

Jacob was transferred to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg that day. He finally opened his eyes a few days later but
suf
fered from temporary blindness.

His condition stabilized and, on Oct. 22, he was moved to a children's hospital near Philadelphia, where he stayed for about
a m
onth. He was released in late
November and entered outpatient treatment, Wagner said.

Wagner said it was too early to tell what permanent effects the fall will have on Jacob, though it was apparent there will be

so
me.

He said Jacob is behind normal children his age in cognitive development, expressive communication, the ability to understand

an
d social development.

"He is probably way behind where he should be at this stage," Wagner said.

[Last modified July 11, 2005, 01:00:09]


Fall Through

Dorchester girl critical after fall

By Jared Stearns, Globe Correspondent

|


July 4, 2004

A 15
-
month
-
old girl was in critical condition last night after falling three stories from the top balcony of her Dorchester
home, police said.The girl, whose identity was not released, was taken to Boston Medical Center.Boston police said
the girl was at her Levant Street home with her mother around 7:25 p.m. when she fell off the balcony on the third floor
of the triple
-
decker. It was unclear whether the girl was left unattended by her mother, police said.One neighbor said
the mother went into the house to answer a phone call and left her daughter alone
.''She left the baby on the balcony,"

said the neighbor, who lives nearby but declined to give his name. ''She left the baby sitting there."Boston police said
the accident is under investigation.At a press conference at the scene of the fall, police said it appeared at this point to
have been an accident.''There was a parent at home," said Boston Police Officer Michael McCarthy. ''It's unclear where
the parent was at the time of the accident
."Witnesses said the girl slipped through an opening of the wooden fence that
surrounds the porch, although police said that was unclear.One vertical wooden piece of the fence around the balcony
was missing last night, but police said they did not know whether it was gone before she fell, or if it was knocked ut
when the child fell
.''She landed on the side of her face," said Kenny Cottrell , who was playing basketball when he
heard screams coming from the home.''The lady came down, and they surrounded the baby."Gloria Mathurim, who
lives one floor below the girl and her family, said she was in her bedroom at the time and heard the baby's mother
screaming.''I heard her screaming, saying, 'Call 911,' " she said. ''She was screaming, 'Oh my God! Oh my God!'
"Lakeisha Rogers said she ran over to the toddler when the child hit the ground.Most of those interviewed yesterday
said they weren't watching during the time leading up to the fall, but some said they saw part or most of the fall as it
happened.Neighbors said the family had moved into the building only about a month ago, and they did not know their
names.Late last night police declined to give the name of the child or the family, saying they were still notifying family
members of the girl's condition.Almost a year ago, a 1
-
year
-
old boy fell out the second
-
story window of a house on
Heath Street in Jamaica Plain. The boy did not suffer life
-
threatening injuries, police said at the time.

A similar accident took place in June 2002 in East Boston.


Fall through

Toddler
recovering
from fall



Girl in fair condition after plunge from third
-
floor balcony


By
Jim Hannah

The Cincinnati Enquirer










A 1
-
year
-
old girl is expected to survive a fall from a third
-
floor apartment building balcony Thursday afternoon in Burl
ington.









Cheyanne Ray was listed in fair condition Friday morning at Children's Hospital Medical Center.









Police were told that the toddler had been playing with her mother, Heather Stephens, 18, on the balcony and that they b
oth then went inside.
The tod dler went back outside and, when her mother chased her, Cheyanne apparently believed she was still playing and ran th
rou
gh the balcony
bars.









The fall happened shortly before 4 p.m. at 5932 Peoples Court. Cheyanne's father, James Ray, 19, was not home. The toddl
er lives at the
address with her parents.









Cheyanne fell 19 feet to a concrete parking lot after slipping between iron bars that were 5
3
/
4

inches apart
, said De tective Tracy Watson of
Boone County Criminal Investigations.









The apartment building was built before current building codes were written. The new code requires bars on a railing to
be no more than 4
inches apart. Detective Watson said no law requires owners to bring older apartment complexes up to newer code requirements.









Detective Watson said he hopes to talk with the landlord to see what can be done to prevent other falls.

Fall Through

Complex set to narrow balcony rails after accident


Lindsey Collom

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 25, 2005 12:00 AM

PHOENIX
-

Managers of an apartment complex where a
1
-
year
-
old slipped through a third
-
story railing

say
they will upgrade balcony enclosures to meet city code, even though they're not required to do so.


The toddler slid under a 6
-
inch gap in the railing

Friday at Bridgewater Apartments near 16th Avenue and
Bethany Home Road, plummeting 30 feet to the ground. Her mother said she was monitoring the child but
couldn't reach her in time.


The girl is expected to recover, but she remained at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center on Monday.


A Bridgewater Apartments consultant said the management team was shocked to learn about the accident.


"We didn't even know this was a concern," John Sbrega said. "I personally went to the property, and it made
me sick; I just had a baby myself. We don't want anything like that happening again."


The aging apartment complex was grandfathered in when building codes changed in 1991. Railings on all new
structures cannot have more than a 4
-
inch space between them. Before then, railing gaps could be up to 6
inches wide.


"By adopting the new code, it doesn't make the pre
-
existing conditions hazardous," said Bob Goodhue, deputy
development
-
services director for the city. But Sbrega won't take that chance. The Bridgewater Apartments will
be fitted with new rails soon, as will the other apartment buildings he consults with that may have been
grandfathered in, he said.


Fall Through

Reported by:
Jennifer Steiner

Web produced by:
Neil Relyea

Photographed by:
9News

5/29/2005 11:07:27 PM


A Springdale toddler was rushed to Childrens Hospital Sunday after falling more than 10
-
feet from a second floor balcony at The
Willows apartments off Chesterdale Circle.

Childrens Hospital has not released the condition of the little boy.

Police say his aunt was supposed to be looking after him when he slipped through the railings and fell to the ground below.


"He was screaming so loud, it was excruciating as a mother to have to listen to it," said Whitney McHome, who has two young c
hil
dren
of her own.

So when she found her neighbor's one
-
year
-
old boy lying in the grass
--

12
-
feet below his family's balcony
--

she sprang to acti
on.

"I came over and I looked and right over here, he was just laying, right here, he had fallen through the slits in the balcony

an
d just fell
right down," said McHome.

She scooped the child up and tried to comfort him while she called 9
-
1
-
1.

This makes for the fifth time in a two
-
week period that a Tri
-
state child has fallen from a window or balcony.

Just the night before Warren County sheriff's deputies responded to a report that a three
-
year
-
old had fallen out of a second
-
fl
oor
window at a home on State Route 123 in Turtlecreek Township.

Similar incidents have also occurred in Price Hill, Westwood and Arlington Heights.

"For children that small and that young, you just got to keep an eye on them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 'cause it just ta
kes

a few
minutes for them to look the other way, and a child that small had no problem falling off that balcony," said Sergeant Lynn M
cKe
e, of the
Springdale police department.

Springdale police say the boy who fell from the balcony Sunday afternoon is expected to be okay, but it's a reminder for pare
nts

to keep
a close eye on their children
--

especially as the weather gets warmer and windows and doors are left open.

Springdale police say they've notified 241
-
KIDS and an investigation is underway.

The little boy's relatives don't speak English so it's been difficult for police to determine how the fall came about.

Police say it's possible charges could be filed.


Fall Through

Racine County Police Report

From the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Oct. 22, 2005

BURLINGTON

Accident

A 2
-
year
-
old boy suffered minor injuries Oct. 13 after he fell from a
second
-
story balcony in the 600 block of Foxtree Circle. A woman
saw the boy on the balcony and saw him
slip through the railings

and fall to the ground. The woman called police, who attempted to
make contact to the apartment but were unable to be heard
because of "very loud music." The boy's mother said she was
taking a shower and had locked the door to the balcony.

Fall Through

Kids injured in falls from upper floors


Matt Dempsey

The Arizona Republic

Oct. 22, 2005 12:00 AM

Authorities are warning Valley parents to watch children around doors and windows on upper floors left open because of the
cooler weather.

The reminders come after three small children suffered injuries in falls in the past week, the most recent on Friday in
Phoenix.

"If you have small children, it's as dangerous as an unfenced pool," said Assistant Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan, who works
each summer to spread the word about kids and swimming pools.

The Valley sees about half a dozen falls like this in a year, according to Khan. About half of these falls occur in the first

months of spring and the rest occur when the temperatures cool in the fall, he said.

"It's a good time to remind people that they need to keep an eye on their kids," Khan said.

In the past week:



A 5
-
year
-
old Chandler boy suffered a skull fracture after falling from a second
-
floor window and landing on a driveway at
his home in the 1900 block of Browning Place near Pecos and Cooper roads.



A 4
-
year
-
old boy suffered minor injuries after falling from a second
-
story window at his home in the 2200 block of North
McQueen Road, also in Chandler.



And on Friday, a 20
-
month
-
old girl was in critical condition after falling off a second
-
story apartment walkway at a building
in the 6000 block of North 16th Street in Phoenix.

The infant slipped away from her mother and grandmother and fell through the railing, authorities said.

The girl was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.

Khan recommends that parents childproof access to any above
-
ground opening, such as a window or balcony door, just like
it is a front door or a swimming pool.

Screens and railings are not enough to protect children from falls, he said. Toddlers can often push through window screens
and children can climb patio furniture to get over railings.

"It presents a clear and significant hazard," Khan said.

Fall Through

Ocean City officials say balconies
like these can actually act as
ladders for children to climb
and fall over. The also say the
width between the vertical
guard rails may also put your
child in danger.

OCEAN CITY
-

A vacation stay in Ocean City nearly turned

deadly for one child.

Town officials say a 4
-
year
-
old fell through balcony guard rails at a resort apartment on Wednesday
. The child is in serious but
stable condition.

Officials remind parents to keep an eye on their kids at all times. They say even though a balcony looks
closed in, it could be your child's path to danger.

They say some balcony styles actually provide a step ladder for your child to climb. Other dangers include
the gaps between bars. They say four inches is safe, but some railings have up to 6 inches between bars;
plenty of space for a small child to squeeze through. Another danger is weak railings.

Ocean City Building Inspector Mike Richardson said, "It only takes a couple of years on the outside and the
nails rust right out."

Some Ocean City locals

agreed that parents need to keep an eye on their children. One woman said, "Kids
are quick, they move quick and you've got to have a watch on them at all times. I don't think it's so much
the unsafe balconies."

One

Ocean City man said,

"I feel like you can be the best parent in the world, but you've still got to keep
an eye on your children all times, and don't get distracted while your on vacation."

Richardson said the town

does not

inspect balconies regularly. It is the landlord's responsibility to maintain
property.

Property owners face fines if there is an accident.

Fall through

Valley Child Recovering from Balcony Fall

(CBS 5 News)
-

Doctors say a toddler who fell three stories after slipping through an
apartment railing

last week is expected to make a full recovery.

Twenty
-
month
-
old Alyssa Gustafson has been moved out of ICU into a regular pediatric
unit.

The little girl fractured her skull when she landed on her head at her apartment at 16th
Street and Maryland.
She tripped after running along a third story balcony.


She
apparently rolled underneath the balcony's guard rail to the ground below
.

Her parents say it's a miracle she has no other major injuries.

The toddler's father says he will now make it his mission to get rid of grandfather
clauses in city codes that deal with safey issues like railings and fences.

The apartment building where the baby fell was built back in 1969. CBS 5 News
checked into the Phoenix city codes that govern apartment guardrails.

Prior to 1987 the code allowed for an eight inch gap in guard rails. Structures built
between 1987 and 1991 were allowed a maximum distance of six inches. After 1991,
that maximum allowable space was set at four inches.

This building is up to code based on the year it was built.

Paramedics say you should treat a balcony
-

even with protection
-

like a unfenced
backyard pool.


Always keep an eye on your kids.

10.25.05

Fall Through

Fall Through


TODDLER INJURED IN FALL FROM THIRD
-
FLOOR
BALCONY.(Local)




The Post
-
Standard (Syracuse, NY); 8/27/2001


A 13
-
month
-
old boy was in fair condition at University Hospital
Sunday after falling earlier in the day from the third
-
floor
balcony

of
his home.


Police said Jacob Dereniski apparently wandered onto the
balcony

at 451 Lillian Ave. at about 8 a.m. Sunday.
He slipped through a gap
in the railing
, said Sgt. Tom Connellan, a police spokesman.


He said police consider the fall accidental.


COPYRIGHT 2001 All rights reserved. Reproduced with the
permission of The Herald Co. by the Gale Group, Inc.

Fall Through


Toddler falls to his death from condo




New Straits Times; 9/1/2001



New Straits Times


09
-
01
-
2001


Toddler

falls

to his death from condo

Edition: Main/Lifestyle; 2*

Section: National


KUALA LUMPUR, Fri.
-

A two
-
year
-
old
toddler

fell to his death from the the ninth floor of the Menara Duta Dua condominium in
Segambut today.


Adam Azman had locked the door of the unit from inside as the maid was outside throwing rubbish at about 10.30am.


The maid, failing to get the boy to unlock the door, sought help for a neighbour to inform Adam's mother about it. A little w
hil
e later, the
maid returned to continue pleading for Adam to open the door.


However,
it was believed Adam had forced himself through the grille of the kitchen
balcony

and fell to his death on the third floor.


His body was sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for a post
-
mortem.


It was also learnt that the boy's parents and his elder sister were not at home, while his younger brother was sleeping when
the

incident
occurred.


(Copyright 2001)

Fall Through


TOT INJURED IN FALL FROM BALCONY


Denver Rocky Mountain News; 7/10/2003; Sakari Alighandhi; ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS



A 3
-
year
-
old boy suffered serious head injuries Wednesday when he fell from a three
-
story
balcony

at an
apartment complex in southeast Denver.

The boy was taken by Denver paramedics to Children's Hospital, where he was being treated.


His condition was unavailable late Wednesday.

Child

abuse investigators were at the apartment complex in the 1100 block of South Cherry Street interviewing
witnesses.

Police spokesman Sonny Jackson gave the following account:

The boy and his teenage sister were visiting friends at the Vantage Point Apartments, just south of Glendale, for a
pool and pizza party.

The
child

and others had gone swimming in the pool at the complex earlier in the day, and after spending time in
the pool, they returned to the apartment for pizza.

The boy was eating with a 3
-
year
-
old girl on the
balcony

and went inside to return their plates.

The children then returned to the
balcony

to play.

The victim's sister and other teenagers were inside the apartment when the boy fell between wooden balusters,
which appeared to be about 7 inches apart, Jackson said.

The boy fell nearly 15 feet, landing on the grass, about 6 inches from the sidewalk leading to the building, police
said.

One resident said it's common to see young children playing on the railings of the balconies.

``I live on the bottom floor, thank God. I have two kids,'' said Erika McGee, a resident of the Vantage Point
apartments.

She then pointed to two children who were straddling on the railings of balconies.

``Even if you look around, you'll see kids all over hanging off the balconies,'' McGee said.



Copyright © 2003, Denver Publishing Co.

Defective barleads to toddler’s4
-
story fall

By Rosemarie Bernardo and Leila Fujimori

A 2
-
year
-
old girl didn't want to go back inside and defiantly said, "No, auntie," just before losing her balance,
slipping
through the railing

and falling four floors at a Nuuanu apartment building Sunday night. The toddler was taken to the
Queen's Medical Center in critical condition after landing on the ground floor, police said.


This is the third toddler to fall off a high
-
rise building in Honolulu in the past six months. A 3
-
year
-
old boy died after falli
ng eight
floors at a Moiliili apartment in November. And a 2
-
year
-
old boy died after falling from the 14th floor of a University Avenue
apartment in August.

Eric Tash, manager of the state Department of Health's Injury Prevention and Control Program, said the girl's fall is differe
nt
from the previous incidents because it happened in a common area. Incidents involving the two boys occurred at private
apartment lanais. "It's tragic. My heart goes out to the parents. It's terrible," Tash said. Common areas need to be checked
to
ensure they are childproof, he said. "We really just need to make sure that children in areas where they have access to are
safe, especially areas that are high up," Tash said. Police said an aunt was baby
-
sitting the girl at a four
-
story apartment at
66
Kauila St. Both were on the open
-
air corridor on the top floor, with the girl running up and down. But when the aunt attempted
to bring her back to their unit at about 8:30 p.m., she told police the girl became defiant and was saying, "No, auntie."
According to the aunt, the toddler started kicking the railing located near the stairway on the mountain side of the building
. T
he
aunt told police that one of the railing bars that had been broken for months popped out. She told police that the toddler th
en
turned sideways with her right arm facing the railway when the bar struck her on the arm after she had kicked it. The toddler

lost her balance,
slipped through the railing and fell.

The aunt was crying and is very upset, police said, adding that there were
no signs of foul play. The resident manager posted yellow tape on a portion of the railing where the girl fell through. Thin
wir
ing
was also wound around the defective bar to neighboring bars. A notice dated Jan. 28 was posted at the entry of the stairway
notifying tenants that starting Feb. 2, all of the walkways and stairways would be sealed off for maintenance. Property
manager Harris Zane could not be reached for comment. But resident manager Ed Geraldo said the building's concrete
walkways and stairwells were resealed and painted earlier this month. And if the workers "would have noticed it (the broken
bar), they would have said something." Geraldo said he inspected all the aluminum railings yesterday morning after he learned

about the accident. "So far, every bit of the railings is solid except for that one place," he said. His boss will meet with
him

today to see what can be done. Geraldo said aluminum railings do not rust like wrought iron. "They flex but they strong," he
said. "We keep up with our maintenance," he said, adding that the building's property management company spares no
expense. "I feel that should have been taken care of a long time ago," resident Stacey Moore said. "They should have found it

when they were painting."

Fall through Defective Railing

Fall Through Defective railing

Child Falls After
Apartment Railing
Breaks Loose


June 2, 2005



By
Kevin Reece






KING COUNTY
-

A 5
-
year
-
old girl is in critical condition with a fractured skull and severe head injuries after falling through a

third floor
balcony at an apartment complex near Federal Way.

A section of the balcony broke loose Thursday night, falling to a lawn below. The young girl landed on a sidewalk.

Angry neighbors say it was a faulty balcony they had complained about before.

"If you just bump it, it would break. It was loose anyway," said her friend Dallas Crum. The young boy was playing with the g
irl

at the
time of her fall. "She was climbing up on it and then she fell and everybody tried to grab her and I'm the only one who grabb
ed
her."

"Dallas grabbed at her and grabbed her shirt but it slipped through and she came tumbling down along with the panel," said ne
igh
bor
Amber English.

After paramedics hurried the girl to Harborview Medical Center by helicopter, King County Sheriff's deputies confiscated as e
vid
ence
the section of the balcony that broke loose.

Neighbors say they could only see four nails in it that held the panel of 1x4 lattice work to the outside of the third floor
rai
ling.

English says they have complained in writing and in person to the maintenance and management staff at the Enchanted Woods
Apartments for the last six months, but the railing was never fixed.

"The written requests got put in. There's been verbal requests and nobody's done anything," she said. "When the police were h
ere

they shook that panel," she said pointing to the panel next to the one that fell. "And it was loose and I think they shook th
at
one and
that one's loose," she said pointing to another.

Conclusion Summary



In all of the instances I found and labeled as “Unspecific Climbing” there is no specific mention of
furniture being present or not, the height of the railing was never mentioned, the design of the
railing was a picket style in the two incidents that had photos attached, the caregiver was
inattentive or absent in 100% of the cases so the witness accounts are from 3
rd

parties who were
not close enough to determine the actual cause of the fall. This lack of information at the time and
scene of the accident will most certainly be reflected in any CPSC or NEISS data.



In addition it should be noted that in most countries, a caregiver that allows a child to climb a
railing to a fall is subject to criminal negligence charges. Caregivers facing such penalty may
deliberately alter the scene of the incident or fabricate the events leading to the fall to protect
themselves from prosecution, also altering the data the CPSC and NEISS utilize.



The only 2 incidents I found involving a railing design made of horizontal elements (from photos
from the scene) were “fall
-
through” incidents. In no case did I find wording or evidence that the
design of the guard contributed to the fall (excepting opening sizes).



While my opinion is somewhat speculative, based on this summary, the relative cost difference
between picket style and horizontal railing systems to fabricate and install (which implies that the
vast majority of buildings with railings utilize some sort of vertical picket design either wood or
metal) and the fact I could not conclude from any of the reports that the railing design contributed
to the incidents involving toddlers except in instances where it allowed a child to pass through the
barrier, Finally, this inquiry gives even greater cause to question the data presented by the CPSC
and NEISS organizations, I propose that the current building codes are more than adequate to
protect the occupancies for new construction as they are currently written



I also propose that a serious effort be made to revise the use and maintenance codes to require
older structures bring their railings into compliance with current codes as soon as possible.


Summary Continued


While the Queensland Authorities and the Jerusalem writer
comment to the design of the railings, neither offers any specific
evidence to suggest that children use the railings to climb to a fall.


The Queensland article makes no mention of older codes that
allowed for larger openings in older railing design and thus allowing
“fall
-
through” type injuries.


The CPSC does not comment to the railing design except that the
openings need to be limited to 4” or less.


The AAP suggests only that higher balcony rails may help to prevent
injury but that the 4” opening rule is critical to saving lives. They
make no mention of railing design in their document. They also
comment that as much as 25% of the injuroes could be considered
child abuse or children who injure themselves trying to escape
abusive caregivers. This also impacts the CPSC and NEISS data for
those assuming that all of the injuries are purely “accidental”