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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Child Injured in Fall from Third Floor

MSP Trooper 2 takes off with a 19-month-old female on-board.

A child apparently fell from a top floor window of a 3-story garden style apartment building in Greenbelt sustaining potentially serious injuries. Just after 5:00 PM, Thursday, August 13, 2009, firefighters from the Berwyn Heights Fire/EMS Station and paramedics from the College Park Fire/EMS Station responded to the 6100 block of Breezewood Drive for a report of a child falling out of a third floor window. According to witness; the 19-month-old female fell to the ground along with a window screen and was unconscious and bleeding from the mouth. Firefighters and paramedics quickly assessed the child’s injuries and requested the assistance of the Maryland State Police Helicopter to transport the injured to a specialty center for children in Washington, DC.

The child was conscious while being treated and immobilized by paramedics. The Greenbelt City Police Department was also on the scene. An engine from the Branchville Fire/EMS Station assisted with setting up a landing area for the MSP Helicopter “Trooper 2” in the rear parking lot of Beltway Plaza Mall.

While supervision of young ones is the best line of defense to prevent injuries, injury prevention advocates understand that it is not always possible to maintain 100% vigilance over children, especially as they grow through the toddler years. There are some basic safety tips parents, caregivers and homeowners can take to help prevent these types of injuries. Safe Kids USA is an organization whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. They offer the following safety tips to prevent childhood falls:

All windows above the first floor should be equipped with window guards – preferably guards with emergency release devices in case of a fire.

Open windows that are not protected by a window guard, at the top only; or use window stops so they can only be opened a few inches.

Never rely on window screens to prevent falls. Window screens are designed to keep bugs out – not children in.

Supervise children at all times around open windows.

Move furniture away from windows and keep windows locked when they’reo closed.

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