DEAR ABBY: Yesterday I treated a 2-year-old who had fallen three stories out the window of his suburban home. I was moved by the little fellow's plight, and the obvious emotional and physical effects of the trauma. For me it was deja vu because eight years ago, my darling nephew, who lived just across the road from me, did the same thing. He fell two stories to the back yard below.
On my way home yesterday, I mentioned the small sky diver to a neighbor. To my astonishment, she informed me that another neighbor had a near miss recently with her 2-year-old. Mom caught her just as the little one popped a second-story screen out of the window.
Abby, I don't know how often this happens, but I have a feeling it's a growing problem. Many modern suburban homes have tall windows that start just a few inches above the floor. A 2-year-old is too young to realize the risk, but heavy enough to lean against a window screen and dislodge it.
In my family's case, the child's mom thought she'd open the window just enough to let some fresh air into his room while he napped. Unfortunately, he woke quietly and fooled with the window screen while his mother thought the baby was safely sleeping.
All three children survived, but I am truly concerned. Please warn parents. -- DR. ANN KOSA, CHIROPRACTOR, ALPHARETTA, GA.
DEAR DR. KOSA: Stories of children falling out of windows are becoming more common. Parents and caregivers should never assume screens are so securely attached that they will support the weight of a small child. Parents who can afford it would be wise to install interior "decorative" guardrails at the base of windows. An exuberant child doesn't have to fall two stories to be injured. The glass itself could be a hazard.