Incidents of babies falling out the windows increase in Kazakhstan
Open wide windows are not only cool air providers on hot days, but also a mortal danger for children. Rescuers and city authorities continue warning parents about the need to install protective systems on windows and bars, but there are more and more incidents of babies falling out in Kazakhstan every year. Compared to last year, the number of cases in 2020 almost doubled. In Nur-Sultan alone, 11 such incidents have been recorded over the past five months. Two babies died.
“At the moment when a baby climbs onto the windowsill by himself, he uses furniture items next to the window as a stand and, leaning on a mosquito net, falls out of the window with it. The mosquito net is not designed for heavy loads, it gives children a false confidence in their reliability, they lean on it like the window itself, and the consequences are tragic,” said an officer of the capital’s Department of Emergency Situations Kuanysh Abdrakhmanov.
What measures should parents take to avoid the accident and not become the next figure of sad statistics? Rescuers said that firstly, you have to keep an eye on babies. Most tragic cases happen when parents leave them alone. Specialists made a number of rules that mothers and fathers should know by heart.
“If possible, open the windows from above, not from the bottom. Put special locks on the windows that prevent a baby from opening the window by more than a few centimeters. If you are showing something to the baby from the window, always firmly fix him, be prepared for sudden movements of the baby, keep your palms dry, do not hold the baby by the clothes. Put the bars on your windows,” emphasizes the lifeguard.
Alarming figures on child mortality even prompted the Emergency Committee to make proposals for amendments to state standards. Rescuers opined that all windows in new buildings should be equipped with a special protection for babies. While the amendments are not approved, residents need to take care of their babies by themselves. If the installation of bars costs about 10,000 tenge (almost US$25), then its absence can cost the parents the life of their baby.
“Our bars are 100% safe for babies, handling 60-80 kg. After quarantine, orders increased due to the fact that the children were at home and cases of falling out of windows became more frequent. There is an option for aluminum bars and transparent ones made of polycarbonate. It is not recommended to put iron bars on the upper floors for reasons of fire safety,” said Nurlan Tasygozhin, the head of one of the bars installation companies.
The public urges to prosecute those parents who allowed such accidents. Many mothers cannot even imagine how it is possible to leave a baby alone next to an open window, calling it nothing more than a death sentence. This is also the opinion of a resident of Almaty, Madina Mukhanova. The mother of twins has recently moved from the capital to Almaty and considers that the first thing to do is to install bars on the windows.
“Honestly, I am very worried about the windows. While living in Azur square, when babies were not yet 8 months old, we installed child protection on all windows. We have now moved to Almaty and are looking for an apartment. Above the first floor, we will definitely install protection and bars. I believe that it is better safe than sorry. I think that it is possible to not accuse parents only when they have done everything possible to minimize the risks of injuries,” said Madina Mukhanova.
“I have secured the house as much as possible. There is nothing near the windows so that he cannot climb. Of course, I never leave the baby in the room alone, because he has such an inquisitive period, and there is no sense of fear that the window is dangerous yet. Moreover, when this happens around and so often, you begin to think more and more about security. Fortunately, now there are a lot of different protective circuits, structures, how to make the window safe,” said a mother of 2-year-old Aliar, Diana Kulmaganbetova.
17 cases of children falling of the windows have been registered in Kazakhstan since the beginning of the year. Some of the fallen were lucky and escaped with only minor injuries. However, there are deaths that cannot but make parents think that the problem still exists and that ignoring the advice of rescuers is an extremely rash decision.