To ever imaginative toddlers, the world seems like a great, big playground.
“Within seconds, a three-year-old can do all sorts of things as they see the world with curiosity,” explains Dr Carol Balhetchet of the Singapore Children’s society to AsiaOne.
For kids growing up in high-rise buildings, play often means seeking new ways to have fun. So they tend to be overly curious, even to the point of unknowingly putting themselves in danger.
It’s no secret that living in a high-rise can pose unexpected safety risks. Back in 2016, a three-year-old fell four storeys to her death in Serangoon North. A year before that, a four-year-old boy died after falling out of their ninth storey flat in Yishun.
In 2013, a one-year-old died after falling from a balcony in Upper Bukit Timah. Since 2011, there have been at least seven accidental deaths due to high rise falls in Singapore alone.
But high-rise accidents happen all around the world.
Just recently, in February 2018, a Brazilian toddler was caught on camera walking a ledge after climbing out of a 9th floor window.
Toddler on window ledge was unsupervised for 10 minutes
The toddler on window ledge, aged about three to four years old, was filmed by a worker in a nearby building, climbing out of a window and dangerously walking along a windowsill nine storeys up.
The curious toddler did so calmly, even playing with a window frame, blithely unaware of the dangers with every confident step he took.
The woman who filmed the video told Metro that a porter attempted to contact the residents of the flat, but no one was answering the phone.
After 10 minutes, a woman who was presumably his mom, appeared on the balcony. She proceeded to scold the toddler. But shortly after that, the cheeky toddler appears on the balcony again. This time, another child even attempts to imitate him!
You can watch the video below.
Toddler on window ledge could have suffered serious injury or even death: How can mums and dads prevent high-rise dangers?
As this frightening incident shows, simply reprimanding your little one is not enough to protect them.
There is one thing that can prevent high-rise deaths, but it is often overlooked.
The important safety measure parents should remember is installing locks on safety grilles. Why is it often overlooked? This is because some parents install grilles, but forget to make sure they are properly locked shut.
Toddler on window ledge was unsupervised—Something as simple as installing locked window grilles could mean the difference between life and death for your inquisitive toddler. (image source: file photo)
Here are other safety measures high-rise dwellers should NEVER forget:
- Keep large objects kids can climb on away from windows and balconies.
- Watch out for heavy objects that can easily break windows, like heavy toys or large marbles.
- Always make sure you lock windows and balcony doors. Leave notes for yourself on your phone or by the door, so you’re reminded before you leave the house.
- Equip your child with safety knowledge. While toddlers might not fully grasp safety risks, school-aged kids can already understand safety rules as well as the consequences of disobeying them.
- Don’t leave your child alone unsupervised. This should go without saying, but unfortunately some parents tend to forget this when they need to step out to a nearby store or run a quick errand.
- Inform all caregivers of safety measures. You might be vigilant when it comes to safety and managed to explain to your child how important it is, but do your helpers and other caregivers know? Make sure that they are always alert. Babies and toddlers can easily sneak onto a balcony or through an open window in just a few seconds.
sources: Metro UK, Asia One
READ THIS ALSO: High-rise safety: Little girl found hanging by head from 4th-floor balcony
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore