A toddler was seriously injured Monday after falling from the 11th story of an apartment building in Takoma Park, authorities said.
The 2-year-old boy fell from a window in the rear of the apartment building in the 7600 block of Maple Avenue, according to the Takoma Park police department.
Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire Department, said the child was taken to a hospital with what were described as priority one injuries. That is the most serious category.
Police officials said the boy was moved to an intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital in Washington and was in critical condition as of Monday night.
Authorities said the boy landed on mulch and ivy that was next to the sidewalk and parking lot and that likely helped cushion the fall.
The Takoma Park Police department said in a statement that they investigated the incident and ruled that the fall was an accident.
Piringer said the boy’s father was at home in the apartment at the time of the incident.
The boy had woken up from his afternoon nap and was “able to get on top of a night stand near an open window,” according to Takoma Park police. The child then “pushed on the screen.”
Takoma Park police said in their statement that doctors told the family they were “surprised that the injuries to the child are not as severe” as they could have been, given the circumstances.
“The medic said it was miraculous the way the child landed,” Piringer said. He said the fact the child landed in mulch and shrubbery “certainly helped to have broken the fall,” given that the child was “inches away from concrete.”
Piringer said the incident is a reminder to parents and caregivers to use commercially available safety devices on windows if households have small children or pets.
“Screens,” he said, “are to keep bugs out, not kids in.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about eight children on average who are ages 5 and younger die each year nationwide from falling out of windows. Emergency rooms treat roughly 3,000 children who are 5 and younger who have fallen from windows across the country.