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April 20, 2007
Toronto EMS Paramedics promote window and balcony safety
The arrival of warm Spring weather means people will be out on their balconies and decks, and will be opening windows to enjoy the weather or start some spring cleaning. Toronto EMS Paramedics encourage residents to keep window, balcony and deck safety in mind.

At least 50 children have fallen from windows, balconies and decks in Toronto since 1999. Over half of those children sustained serious injuries or died as a result of those falls.

On March 28, 2007, a five-year-old Hamilton boy fell from a ninth floor balcony and landed on soggy, rain-soaked grass. His survival is described as miraculous.

Adults may also be victims of such falls. On April 17, 2007 a 29-year-old Brampton man was washing windows in an apartment building when he leaned out too far and fell four floors onto a fence, sustaining serious injuries.

Toronto EMS and 10 other EMS agencies across Canada have partnered with the Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association and the Emergency Medical Service Chiefs of Canada to promote the safe use and enjoyment of windows, balconies and decks for everyone.

The following are some basic safety tips:
• teach your children never to play near open windows or on balconies
• do not leave children unattended or unsupervised
• keep furniture away from windows and balcony railings
• lock all unopened windows and patio doors
• install and use window safety devices to limit window opening to 10 cm or four inches, or limit access through doors to balconies and decks
• do not rely on screens - they keep insects out, not kids in
• hire professionals to do any high angle home repairs
• use special watering devices that extend to hard-to-reach plants (these items can be bought in local hardware, department and garden stores)
• set a good example for children by practicing safety around windows, balconies and decks.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Dean Shaddock, Co-ordinator, Community Medicine Program, Toronto EMS, 416-338-0473



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