Parents urged to be cautious after 3 Fort Worth children fall from apartment units over weekend

FORT WORTH -- Police are urging parents to take precautions after three young children fell from multistory apartment buildings in separate incidents over the weekend. One boy was seriously injured.

Sgt. Jim Thomson, supervisor of the crimes against children unit, said all three falls appear to have been accidental.

"This is the time of year where kids begin to expand their horizons and feel the freedom of being outside after the winter months," Thomson said. "Unfortunately, as this past weekend illustrated, this time of year increases the chances of children becoming involved in unnecessary accidents."

The most serious injury occurred about 6:30 p.m. Sunday when a 4-year-old boy fell onto a sidewalk from a second-floor apartment balcony in the 9500 block of Solomon Drive.

Thomson said the boy had been climbing on top of a bicycle that was being stored on the balcony when he fell. He suffered multiple skull fractures and remained in the pediatric intensive care unit at Cook Children's Medical Center on Monday, Thomson said.

About 11/2 hours earlier, a 3-year-old boy was injured when he fell out of an open third-story apartment window in the 12000 block of Kentmore Lane.

"Some kids were playing hide-and-seek, and I guess he went behind the curtains and didn't realize the windows were open," said officer Sharron Neal, a police spokeswoman.

Neal said hospital staff told officers that the boy, who was in stable condition Monday, did not have major or life-threatening injuries.

A 10-month-old boy also apparently escaped serious injury when he fell through a third-floor balcony railing at an apartment complex in the 6000 block of Oakland Bend Drive about 3 p.m. Saturday. Thomson said Cook Children's staff members hoped to release the toddler Monday.

Safety experts suggest that parents use window stops to prevent a window from opening more than 4 inches and install window guards in all second-story or higher homes where young children live or visit.

Thomson said even windows with screens can pose a danger to a child.

"Most falls occurred with the windows fully opened and the child leaning against the screen," he said.

Thomson said that if a window must be open, parents should exercise extra diligence in watching children.

In addition to the falls, Thomson said, a 1-year-old boy remained hospitalized at Cook Children's on Monday after he was accidentally run over as his father moved their car Sunday in the 7300 block of South Meadow Drive East. The boy suffered injuries to his chest, ribs and liver.

"Take the extra 10 seconds and walk around and look under your car before you start it, even if you are just moving the vehicle in your own driveway," he urged parents.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd