Toddler dies in Fairfax County after falling from balcony, police say

A toddler has died in Fairfax County after falling from a balcony on Monday, according to officials.

The Fairfax County Police Department said detectives believe the child fell from a balcony in the 5600 block of Seminary Road in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County just before 4 p.m. According to officials, the toddler was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities originally stated they believed the child fell from a window, but later clarified the child fell from a balcony on the 24th floor.

A 3-year-old boy died when he accidentally fell from an open but screened bedroom window in the exact same complex at the Skyline Towers Apartments in the 5600 block of Seminary Road back on May 30.

A 3-year-old girl was also hurt when she fell from a 5th-floor window Skyline Towers Apartments in 2015.

FOX 5 reached out to the property manager Equity Residential which released a statement that said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time. We are working to assist the authorities in their investigation."

The National Safety Council told FOX 5 about 3,300 children nationwide are injured from falls every year and about five of them die. The organization said it's all preventable.

"The most important thing that parents can do is remember that screens are for critters, they are not for kids so they're not going to keep your child from falling out of a window," explained Maureen Vogel with the National Safety Council. "You can't rely on screens to keep people safe."

"With balconies you want to make sure that if the rungs are more than 4 inches apart, you are definitely covering them with something else, whether that's plexiglass, whether that's a garden fence, whether it's a tarp, you want to keep something else across those grates to either keep your child from falling through them or getting stuck in them and suffocating, which we've also seen in the past," she continued.

Vogel also advises parents to keep furniture away from balconies and windows that kids can climb on. Parents should keep windows locked and when they want them open, can install ASTM approved window stops to keep them from fully opening.

For vertical windows that have the option, open the top window pane rather than the bottom. Vogel advises against nailing or painting windows shut since they are an escape route in the event of an emergency. And, as always, she advised never leaving a child unsupervised near a window or balcony.