MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It can happen so quickly — especially in older buildings where the window sills are low to the floor. Tarrains Hill and his family live on the 6th floor of the Park Plaza Apartments.
“That’s what he’d do, and then crawl right up in there,” Hill said, as he demonstrates how accessible the windows are to young children.
Tarrain’s family lives in the same complex where 5-year-old Sakaria Mohamed fell from a fourth-floor window around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
As he pointed out the sideways sliding windows one can easily see how even a 2-year-old can press on the screen and tumble to the ground below.
“If it’s open, it’s real easy, because they’re going to jump on the screen and it’s going to come out,” Hill said. “There’s nothing there stopping it – no.”
That’s what Minneapolis police say happened when the young boy fell through the window and down 32 feet to the grass below.
Fatima Mohamad lives nearby and watched as the child was rushed away in an ambulance.
“I come over here and I see the boy in the ambulance, and it’s so very hard to watch little babies fall down, it’s not good,” he said.
Police are investigating the circumstances of how the child had access to the window and out of the view of his parents. But police caution that both landlords and parents need to be more aware of the dangers posed by open windows.
“The bottom line is a window screen is not a safety net — very easily can be pushed out,” Inspector Kjos said.
Hill said he takes the proper precautions.
“That’s why I keep it half shut, unless somebody is in the room with him,” he said.
The Minnesota Department of Health says that between 1993 and 2009, seven children were killed from falls through windows.
For more on preventing falls from windows the Minnesota Department of Health offers these