After son falls out window, mom hopes you'll heed safety advice
VANCOUVER, Wash. - With the weather warming up, this is the time of year we start hearing about children falling out windows left open to help people keep cool.
The Keen Cunningham family has dealt with that tragedy. Their 3-year-old fell out his bedroom window in October 2010.
Now, the family has become an advocate for window stops and guards as the only safety mechanism that will prevent these types of accidents. They want their story to be the example for other families to learn from.
The family has three children. Their daughter is 9 years old and she has twin younger brothers, Zane and Thomas. It was Thomas who fell out the window.
He was nearly four and supposed to be taking a nap; instead, he was looking out the open window when the screen gave way and he wound up with a traumatic brain injury after landing on his head.
Getting him to the point where he is now - a happy, talkative and active boy - took a week in a medically induced coma, five more weeks recovering in Randall Children's Hospital and then a year of outpatient therapy.
But because of his injury, he can't play sports at school, and his mother, Becca, has to constantly watch out for his safety.
Becca says they still won't know the full extent of any brain damage for a few more years.
She said she wants people to know this can happen to them.
"My fear is that people will just dismiss what they hear about window safety as, 'Oh, that's not going to happen to me - that happens to other people.' But what I ask is that they consider it long enough to put this product in place," she said about the window stops and guards.
Here's a few easy ways to keep your kids safe from window falls: First, don't let them play near windows. Second, keep furniture away from windows. Third, only allow windows to open four inches. You can do that by installing stops or guards. And finally, lock those windows when you're not using them.
More information about window safety from Legacy Health.