New York City

Toddler Hospitalized in Critical Condition After Falling From Fifth Story Apartment Window

A toddler was hospitalized in critical condition after falling from a fifth-story window of a Park La Brea apartment in an incident police deemed an accident.

It happened about 7:45 p.m. Monday at an apartment building at 360 South Burnside Avenue, Sgt. E. Vialta of the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire Station said.

A window was left open and the 2-year-old fell out, Vialta said. The boy suffered injuries to his face and body and required surgery at a hospital.

Detectives from the LAPD's Child Abuse Unit were investigating the fall, Vialta said.

"Many of us have asked about the safety of the windows," said Heidi Albee, a neighbor and mother of two boys under 4 years old.

At a tower across the way, Albee's windows in her 12th floor apartment open and close with a crank. There are screens she and other residents say they can purchase to cover their windows.

"If a child was running and wanted to just run into this, I am not certain that this would be a deter them from falling out the window," Albee said of the screens.

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety says guardrails on windows are required in some cases, depending on certain codes in effect when the building was constructed.

Albee and other parents say they will continue taking precautions.

"We don't have any furniture near the windows," she said. "We have taken the little cranks off of most of the windows, the ones in my sons' room don't have them."

According to Park La Brea Apartments, all buildings are regularly inspected. There are latches on windows and screens from floors one to three are required by law to prevent dirt and bugs. In a statement, they say they are "deeply sadden" by what happened and offer "best wishes to this child and his family on a speedy recovery."

Park La Brea allows for modifications to window access which in the past has included temporary gates.

In other cities, for example New York City, it is mandatory to have window guards if a building has three apartments or more and if a child 10 years and younger is living in an apartment. The requirement applies even if the apartment is on the first floor.

Parents including Albee say they will be coming together as a community to help the family of the boy who fell in any way they can.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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