REDMOND — A 20-month-old boy survived a six-story fall from a Redmond apartment window after the toddler landed on the roof of a parked car that cushioned the impact of the plunge, authorities said.
The toddler “landed in a way where the car absorbed enough of the impact that he was awake and crying when paramedics arrived” Wednesday afternoon, Redmond police spokesman James Perry told KIRO-TV.
The boy was in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center as of noon Thursday, according to hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg.
Just before the fall, the toddler was alone in a bedroom, while his mother and two siblings were in another room, Perry said.
Investigators believe the boy propped himself on the edge of a window that was cracked open, pushed through a screen and tumbled about 60 feet (18 meters).
The owner of the Mazda sedan that the child fell on was amazed that the boy survived.
“That’s a big dent,” Edward Lu said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Harborview admits 40-50 children to its pediatric trauma center each year for injuries sustained in falls out of windows, which are more common in spring and summer, according to a news release from the hospital.
“Most of those kids are between 2 and 3 years old, and most of them fall out of a screened window, and most of them are being what we would consider adequately supervised at the time,” Dr. Brian Johnston, Harborview’s chief of pediatrics, says in a video released by the hospital in 2018.
To make windows safer, Johnston recommends installing window stops, which are devices designed to keep windows from opening more than a few inches. Like other childproofing mechanisms, window stops can still be disengaged by an adult if the window needs to be opened — for example, in an emergency.
“25 percent of kids who we see end up in our ICU, and a significant number leave with some disability,” Johnston said. “So, it’s an injury we want to prevent if we can.”
This story has been updated to correct that the child fell on Wednesday, not Tuesday.