High-rise safety: Little girl found hanging by head from 4th-floor balcony
This incident serves as a timely reminder about high-rise safety for kids.
Too often, we hear of accidents – sometimes with devastating endings – of children falling off balconies or out of windows of high-rise buildings. Every single one of these incidents is a tragedy only because it could have been prevented if the adults involved took proper safety precautions.
Here’s another such incident we bring you today with the hope that it serves as an eye-opener to all parents of little ones.
On Saturday July 15, a video emerged of a little girl with her head stuck between the railings of a fourth-floor balcony.
She is squirming frantically, held only by her head, and the rest of her little body is hanging over the edge of the balcony. Reports say she is just four years old.
According to the Straits Times and other news reports, this incident took place in Fuzhou city, Fujian province, China.
While the video (keep reading to watch it) is extremely hard for any parent to watch, luckily the ending is a happy one.
A neighbour is seen in the video climbing up onto the ledge. He lifts the little girl up and tries to push her back to safety. The person who was videoing the incident is also heard calling for her.
Facebook user Homy Ho reportedly wrote: “Many thanks to the brave uncle who changed the outcome of this incident!”
Others had harsh words for the little girl’s family. A reader of the Chinese news site thepaper.cn makes the following comment: “Where are the adults in the family?”
Another person, identified as Mai Mai Fei, wrote: “Applause for the uncle! But the family is too irresponsible,” says the Straits Times.
Safety first, always!
Singapore is a nation of high-rise buildings, with many of us living in soaring apartments and flats with our families.
Stories like this serve as timely reminders about high-rise safety precautions that every single parent and caregiver of children MUST be aware of.
Please mums and dads, keep this points in mind (adapted from another article by same author):
1. Install grilles on your windows
They prevent your child from falling through an open window. Remember to lock them up if ever opened.
You could contact the following companies for information about installing safety grilles in your home:
- Grilles & Glass — +65 9100 8767
- Window Grill Singapore — +65 8503 2719
- Singapore Safety Window System — +65 6783 6784
- LeGate — +65 6653 7162
- Windows and Grilles — +65 8344 8196 / +65 9106 5207
2. Keep the area around windows and balcony walls clear of any large objects that a child can climb on
A child’s curiosity and penchant to climb things means that such things can be used as ladders to reach otherwise unreachable open windows.
3. Keep an eye out for objects that when thrown, can break windows
Objects include marbles and heavy toys.
4. Lock the windows and the door to your balcony when you are not around
Make it a habit — leave a note at the place where you keep your keys so you will be reminded about it whenever you head out.
5. Teach your child about the dangers of windows and balconies
Explain to them why such a thing is dangerous instead of just telling them not to do it. If your child is old enough to understand simple instructions, you should make it a firm rule that he’s not allowed to open the window, or climb up the window at all times.
Explain the dangers of what can happen if they do so and if it helps, find educational videos online to teach them about this as well.
6. NEVER leave your child alone in the house
Do not take this risk. Experts warn against leaving your young child home alone even for a short period of time because as Dr Carol Balhetchet, Senior Director for youth services at the Singapore Children’s Society explains, “Within seconds, a three-year-old can do all sorts of things as they see the world with curiosity”.
7. Lock the door to your balcony
If the management of your apartment complex does not permit grilles to be installed on your balcony, then ensure that the door to this area is kept locked at all times when you are not with your child.
Even if your balcony is surrounded by protective bars, please check that a small child cannot squeeze through them.
If you think they are too widely spaced apart, speak to the management of your apartment about the possibility of implementing an appropriate and safe solution to the problem.
8. Caution all other caregivers of your child
Helpers and other caregivers of your children MUST take high-rise safety precautions very seriously. In the reports mentioned earlier in this article, other than when the child was left alone, in most other cases the child had been left with a caregiver not his/her parents.
It cannot be stressed enough — your child’s caregiver must watch them at all times. Caution them that even if they are carrying your baby or toddler, they need to stay away from the edge of your balcony. A child of this age can wriggle out their caregiver’s arms in a flash.
WATCH: Little girl gets her head stuck in balcony; thankfully, she is rescued.
Featured image: YouTube screengrab