North Memorial Hospital says to use safety locks on windows
Just two years ago Jake and Jenny Anderson family had the scare of a lifetime, when their son Michael fell from the second floor window of their house.
“I was cooking dinner and the boys were upstairs in the living room. It was spring time so we opened up the windows,” says Jenny Anderson, Michael’s mother. “I could hear them yelling outside, but I didn’t think much of it. I told him to get down from the couch and then the next thing I heard him crying outside. So I ran outside after him and we just picked him up and put him in the car and went to Maple Grove. They then transferred us down here to Robbinsdale and they were amazing.”
Michael had severe head trauma. His injuries were life threatening, and his family was unsure if there would be permanent brain damage.
“I don’t remember a lot of the drive to the hospital because I just went,” says Michael’s dad, Jake Anderson. As soon as we got there they took excellent care of us. That was the scariest day of my life. It’s safe to say we don’t open the windows very much anymore.”
Michale’s mother never thought that open windows could be such a danger to her children.
“I never thought I had to take extra precautions inside the house,” added Jenny. “It was definitely a learning experience. I now realize everything around the house that could be a danger and I try to protect him from everything. The windows were definitely not on my radar at that time.”
Michael is now five years old, and as happy and healthy as ever.
“He’s doing well he’s even playing sports now,” added Michael’s father. He starts kindergarten in a couple weeks and he’s super excited.”
3,300 Kids fall from windows every year
The doctors who saved Michaels life saw him for the first time since the accident on Thursday. They say injuries caused by falling from windows happen more often than one would think.
“We’ve been a level 1 trauma center taking for 20 years,” says Dr. Jonathan Gipson. “Every spring and fall when people open their windows and let the fresh air inside, it creates a danger for little kids. This is not unique to our area. Across the country we see this about 3,300 times a year where kids fall out of windows. So it’s important to be aware of that and if you have little ones at home. Not all injuries are preventable but in this case knowing that the screen is not a safety mechanism to keep them from falling out is important. Knowing that putting a dresser or a bed next to the window makes it a little more dangerous.”
Doctors say thinking about what’s below the windows is important as well.
“If you can plant some shrubs below windows that will make it a softer fall than hitting hard ground,” added Dr. Gipson. “So think about those types of things when just in case and emergency situation happens.”
Seeing Michael now, you would never know that he once had life threatening injuries. His doctors say getting to see him happy and healthy, make their hard work worthwhile.
“We certainly have patients who have complications who have questions,” says Dr. Alan Beal. “This is a fantastic opportunity to be able to see the positive outcomes. Seeing him like this, is why we do this”
Michael’s parents wanted to share their story so that other parents can protect their children from these types of accidents.