After numerous accidents involving children falling out of windows, two Flushing lawmakers are urging parents, building owners and landlords to take steps to ensure that children remain safe in their homes.
Councilman Peter Koo and Senator Toby Ann Stavisky on Aug. 2 raised awareness by distributing multilingual cards to residents on how to obtain window guard safety measures in front of 142-28 38th Ave., the site of a previous accident.
In June, a 3-year-old boy fell from the sixth-floor window of an apartment and onto the third-floor balcony of a neighboring building along 38th Avenue in Flushing, QNS reported. The toddler was rushed to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset in stable condition.
“All too frequently we hear tragic stories of accidents that could have been prevented. We need to protect children, especially at home, by ensuring tenants and landlords understand their responsibility when it comes to window guards,” Stavisky said. “Home should be the safest place for children. Many residents may not know that they are eligible for these devices that can help prevent injuries and fatalities. I urge parents to take this opportunity to protect their child.”
Koo and Stavisky’s offices will be canvassing the Flushing area to make sure residents know their rights.
“If residents or landlords have any questions or concerns about their rights or how to install window guards, we strongly encourage them to contact 311 or our offices to make sure their homes are safe and in compliance with the law,” Koo said.
New York City Health Code requires owners of buildings of three or more apartments to provide and properly install approved window guards on all windows in an apartment where a child (or children) under 11 years of age reside. In many apartments, the residents lack window guards which could prevent children from falling.
“With three window falls in such a short time and in close proximity, we want to make sure everyone in our community is aware of the rules and regulations around window guards, and that all homes with young children are appropriately outfitted with this important life-saving equipment,” Koo said.
Louise Carroll, commissioner of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD), said both tenants and landlords have a responsibility to ensure window safety guards are properly installed as is required by law.
“It’s very important that we all do our part to protect the health and safety of young children during warm summer months,” Carroll said. “We must work together to avoid preventable tragedies.”