As window panes went up to let in the unseasonably warm March air, the chances of children falling through loose or flimsy screens also rose.
On Saturday afternoon, an 18-month-old boy fell from a third-story window at a Coon Rapids apartment building. Fortunately, police say, he landed on grass and was not seriously hurt. He was treated at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and sent home later Saturday.
The boy, whose name was not released, apparently was leaning against a screen when he fell, police said on Saturday. On Sunday, Coon Rapids Sgt. Ben Bautsch said Sunday that the incident will be reviewed on Monday to determine whether further investigation is warranted, he said.
In recent years, a number of Minnesota children have fallen from windows, including at least three last year, one of whom died.
In June 2011, a 2-year-old girl was injured in a fall from a second-floor hotel window at Grand Casino Hinckley.
In August, 11-month-old Ilhaan Hassan fell nine stories to her death at the Skyline Tower apartments in St. Paul. She had been playing with other children on a bed pushed up near a window when she fell.
In October, a 2-year-old boy was hospitalized with serious injuries after he fell from a sixth-story apartment window in St. Paul. He had been playing on a nearby couch.
From 2006 through last August, Regions Hospital in St. Paul treated 44 children who fell from windows, two of whom died. In the same time, Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis admitted 58 children who fell from windows, none of them fatalities.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has estimated that 3,000 U.S. children under age 5 are hospitalized annually as the result of such tumbles.
Safety experts warn that windows are not built to contain children if they bounce into a screen. Moving furniture away from windows, using window stops and opening the top of double-hung windows are ways to avoid accidents, they say.
In recent years, Minnesota lawmakers have tried to reduce the risk of window-related falls.
As of July 2009, Laela's Law required Minnesota builders to fashion windows with fall-prevention devices when building or remodeling apartments or multifamily homes. The law, which is named after a 2-year-old who survived a fall in 2006 from a fourth-story apartment window in Minneapolis, doesn't cover single-family homes or require apartments to switch immediately to the safer windows.
Jim Adams • 952-746-3283