A 3-year-old child falls from the 25th floor of a tower block… The surprising reason why accidents “occur most frequently in spring and fall”.
The tragic accident occurred on the afternoon of November 2.
Residents of a high-rise condominium in Mihama Ward, Chiba City, reported that a child had fallen and that the child had fallen from above shortly after 2:00 pm. When the Chiba Prefectural Police and fire department arrived at the scene, they found a 3-year-old boy living in the condominium lying on the roof of the entrance. He was immediately transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The boy’s father also reported the incident.
The 48-story condominium building was known as the “tallest condominium in Chiba” (172 meters high) and had been occupied since the beginning of 2009. The boy lives on the 25th floor, which is about 90 meters high, about 800 meters southeast of JR Kaihin-Makuhari Station, where many families who work in the city center seem to live.
The boy is believed to have fallen from the balcony of his room. However, there is no gap between the balcony railing and the floor. The height of the railing is about 1m 30cm. Since the boy is less than one meter tall and would have difficulty climbing over the railing, residents are concerned, saying that this is ‘unthinkable under normal circumstances.
Points that parents with young children should definitely observe
Why did the boy climb over the railing and fall down? Takao Sakaguchi, director of the Citizen’s Disaster Prevention Research Institute, speculates.
There was probably something placed near the balcony that could have been used as a step. There may have been steps or steps that were easy for a three-year-old to climb.
A subsequent police investigation revealed that the boy was alone in his room at the time of the accident. As Sakaguchi pointed out, there was a folding chair near the balcony. For parents with young children, this accident is no stranger to them. What should they be aware of? Mr. Sakaguchi continues.
The most important thing is for parents to keep an eye on their children. You cannot predict the behavior of young children. It is important to always pay attention. Families living in high-rise apartments should be especially careful. Never place anything on the balcony that could be used as a step ladder.
According to the Tokyo Fire Department, there were 70 accidents between 2003 and 2007 in which children under the age of five fell from windows or balconies above the second floor. By month, the largest number of cases occurred in May with 16, followed by 11 in September and 10 in October.
In October 2006, a 2-year-old boy in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, was seriously injured when he fell from a 9th floor, and in October 2009, a 4-year-old girl in Osaka, Osaka, died after falling from a 25th floor. In October of this year, a 4-year-old boy fell to his death from the 12th floor of a metropolitan housing complex in Edogawa Ward, Tokyo. Why do so many accidents involving toddlers occur in spring and fall? The aforementioned Mr. Sakaguchi explains.
In summer and winter, air conditioners and heaters are often turned on and rooms are often closed. In spring and fall, on the other hand, the climate is milder, so people tend to open windows to let pleasant air into their rooms. Until winter arrives in earnest, caution will be needed.”
On the day of the accident, the temperature was a balmy 24 degrees Celsius. The Consumer Affairs Agency is urging people to take countermeasures against accidents, such as installing auxiliary locks in places out of reach of children and keeping outdoor units at least 60 cm away from railings.
Photo: Kyodo News： Kyodo News