By - Uduak Andrew-Bassey
Recently (11-09-2019), at about 4 pm in Lagos Nigeria, a three years old girl climbed the railing of their second-floor apartment and fell through the balcony. She landed on a car’s roof, and the bumper of another before rolling onto the ground – this invariably reduce the severity of the incident (which could have probably been fatal). She, however, sustained serious injuries and was immediately rushed to the hospital by a neighbor as both parents were not at home (they left the child in the care of a 13-year-old help).
Before the incident, the child was playing at the balcony unsupervised as the maid was preparing lunch in the kitchen with both parents away. The child climbed unto the railings ( less than 1m) which were already wet after a light downpour and mistakenly slipped which sent her to the ground. The presence of two cars packed below helped reduce the severity of the fall as she fell through them before eventually hitting the ground.
Children are particularly vulnerable to accidents and their safety requires different approaches compared to adults. In the early 21st century, approximately 1 million children worldwide died each year for accidental injuries, with about 95 percent of those injury-related deaths taking place in low- and middle-income countries.
To prevent falls from balconies; especially children, the following prevention tips can be utilized:
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