Toddler plunges 13 metres from Sydney unit block
A two-year-old boy is in intensive care in hospital after falling about 13 metres from a unit block window and landing on concrete in Sydney’s north-west.
Emergency services were called to the building on May Street in Eastwood after the boy plunged through the flyscreen of a third-floor window about 9.30am on Monday.
The boy’s distraught mother rushed to the street and carried her injured son back upstairs before calling triple-0, a CareFlight spokesman said.
The boy was semi-conscious when paramedics arrived.
“They [paramedics] called CareFlight and carried the boy back down to the ambulance where they were met by the CareFlight trauma team,” a CareFlight spokesman said.
“As the boy was being taken to hospital in a road ambulance the CareFlight doctor placed him in an induced coma and placed him on a ventilator to control his breathing.”
The boy is in a stable condition in Westmead Children’s Hospital’s intensive care unit with possible internal injuries.
Police have spoken to the boy’s family, and say there appear to be no suspicious circumstances in the boy’s fall.
CareFlight said it was called to more than 12 cases of children falling from windows across Sydney each year.
Under new rules to be introduced in May, all windows in new homes and apartments that are more than two metres off the ground must be either fitted with window locks that stop the window being opened more than 12.5 centimetres, or must have reinforced screens to prevent children from falling from a height. The rule only applies to new buildings.
In the wake of the boy’s accident, police and CareFlight encouraged parents to put in preventative measures to stop upper-storey windows being opened far enough for a child to fall out, or be fitted with reinforced screens.
The president of the Australian Medical Association in NSW, Brian Owler, criticised the state government for a lack of action on preventing children falling from windows and balconies.
“I have been consistently raising the issue of children falling from balconies and windows with the State Government for some time now,” associate professor Owler said.
“Today, there has been another child fall from a window in Sydney and we remain on track for the number of kids injured in such accidents to remain unchanged this year.
“We need legislative change to mandate the introduction of safety devices that limit how far windows above ground level can open – and not just in new buildings.”
with Melissa Davey
Sydney Morning Herald
February 25, 2013