The father of a two-year-old Langley girl who broke her leg and lost two teeth in a tumble out of a third-storey window is urging other parents to secure their homes.
“Taryn is a lucky, lucky girl,” said Sean Lim.
On Monday, Aug. 8, his daughter, who is a couple of months shy of three years old, was with her mother Sally Jo, getting ready for a play date.
The little girl was hiding behind the curtains in the master bedroom of the family’s Langley townhouse, said Lim.
Her mother told her to come out, but the second time, Taryn didn’t come from behind the curtains. Jo looked out the window to discover that Taryn had fallen three storeys. She called 9-1-1.
Lim said his wife was “screaming” when she got in touch with him by phone. She told him Taryn had fallen onto the concrete.
“As soon as I heard that, I thought, ‘Oh my god, she’s not going to make it,’” Lim said.
While he rushed home from work in North Vancouver, Langley Township firefighters and multiple B.C. Emergency Health Services paramedics were rushing to the home. Taryn was taken to hospital via Air Ambulance helicopter.
“I was getting ready to say goodbye when I got there,” Lim said.
Fortunately, her injuries were much less serious than they could have been.
Taryn has a broken leg, and two broken teeth had to be extracted. She has some other bumps and bruises, but was released from hospital and returned home on Thursday, Aug. 11.
Lim’s family is incredibly grateful that their youngest child will be okay.
He said in the past, he’s seen coverage of children being injured, and has blamed the parents, thinking he and his wife were cautious and nothing would happen. They had warned their children about the dangers of windows, and even demonstrated the risk of a fall with a dropped teddy bear.
“But it could be anybody,” Lim said. “It was me.”
As far as they can tell, Taryn used the curtains and a baseboard heater to climb up to the window, which was open in the summer heat.
Lim has already purchased window locks for all the windows in their home, which can keep the windows from opening more than 10 centimeters. He urges all other parents of young children to do the same.
So far this year, 11 children have been treated at BC Children’s Hospital after falling from a window, and in 2021, 16 children from infants to 15-year-olds were treated for falls from high elevations. Two of those children died.
BC Children’s Hospital offers the following tips for safety:
• Move furniture and planters – or anything that can be climbed on – away from windows.
• Install window guards on windows above the ground floor. Fasten windows so that they cannot open more than 10 centimetres wide. Ensure there’s a safety release in case of fire.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of opening or playing near windows, particularly on upper floors of the home or in a high-rise dwelling.
• Remember that screens keep bugs out, not children in! Screens are easily pushed out.
• Don’t underestimate a child’s mobility; children begin climbing before they can walk.
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