Child OK after two-story fall from window | SummitDaily.com
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Child OK after two-story fall from window

by Jane Stebbins

BRECKENRIDGE – Garrett Gallagher was running around Monday, playing with cars and blocks, throwing a ball and getting ready to eat homemade chicken soup for lunch – a typical 18-month-old boy.

His parents think he’s lucky.

The little boy was climbing on a windowsill of his Pinewood Village apartment in Breckenridge Saturday when the screen popped loose. His mother said she heard the window’s blinds go up, ran to the window and saw her son on his hands and knees, two stories below, looking around. She ran screaming downstairs.

“I swear angels carried him down,” said Jill Gallagher. “He has a couple scratches on his face and that’s it. He’s sore, but he’s fine.”

The child was taken to Summit Medical Center in Frisco, then to Children’s Hospital in Denver for overnight observation.

Jill wants parents to be aware that screens are designed to keep bugs out, not children inside. And she plans to install protective bars in the window to prevent the accident from occurring again. Such bars are available in catalogs catering to parents.

In the interim, Jill has shut – and locked – the window. And Garrett is up and about, throwing balls, playing with blocks and climbing on anything he can reach.

The type of screen installed at the apartment complex is one commonly used in new construction. Pinewood Village was built as a joint private-public venture between the town of Breckenridge and developer to provide housing for town employees and year-round residents.

The lightweight screens feature spring-loaded pins designed to hold the screen in place. But they are easily popped out of the channel – mostly for convenience during installation, said Steve Downer, office manager for Windsor Windows in Denver.

“They’re pretty common in new construction,” he said of the design. “There’s little differences here and there, but that’s pretty much the standard.”

Jill said she’d noticed the screen was loose a week ago.

“It’s just one of those things you don’t think about,” she said, adding that she doesn’t blame the town. “It’s just an accident.”

She wants other parents to be aware that even if a window is screened, it doesn’t make it safe for children – particularly those who live in anything but bottom-floor apartments or condominiums.

“It’s a story with an incredible ending,” Jill said. “I don’t know if someone else would be that lucky.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.


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