Expert to parents: Secure window screens

Safety experts are reminding parents to take care when opening windows to ensure children don't fall or jump out.

Police say a 16-month-old boy in Farmington was airlifted to Regions Hospital Tuesday evening after he fell 10 to 15 feet onto a concrete patio when a second-story window screen gave way.

The Farmington boy's condition wasn't available but police say he was conscious and breathing when paramedics arrived.

Julie Philbrook, a trauma prevention specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center, said spring and fall are peak times for cases of children falling out of windows.

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She said parents can prevent such injuries.

"It comes down to looking around your home for the hazards, knowing your child's abilities and also really supervising them," Philbrook said. "Which can be a challenge."

Parents shouldn't trust that a screen will keep children from falling.

"Screens are meant to keep the bugs out; they're not designed to keep kids in," Philbrook said.

Philbrook said parents should consider window guards, and she said some parents can take advantage of windows that open from the top so that the opening is out of reach for children.

A Minnesota Department of Health report shows the number of window incidents resulting in children being severely injured has risen in the past few years.