Police advise using an inexpensive window stop or ledge to prevent children from falling out of windows in the approaching summer months

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April 15, 2019 08:15 PM

If you ask Edward Lu, he parked in the right place, at the right time.

When a 20-month-old boy fell out of a six-story window last week, he landed directly onto the roof of Lu’s car, which broke his fall and likely saved his life.

“That’s a big dent, I couldn’t believe it,” Lu, of Redmond, Washington, told KOMO. “If I had driven on [Thursday] I don’t know what would have happened.”

The toddler was taken to a local hospital where he was placed in the ICU in serious but stable condition, according to the news station.

“If the car wasn’t there,” Redmond Police Department officer James Perry explained to KOMO, “it would have been pavement the child would have fallen onto and this would have been a much different ending.”

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Redmond Police, who did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, said the boy had been left alone in a room when he pulled himself up to a window, pushed out a screen and fell out 70 feet. The boy’s mother was alerted to the situation when his 4-year-old sister called for help, the station added.

While luck played a part in the toddler’s survival, the Redmond Police Department hopes that parents keep their windows locked when a child is nearby, preventing such a tragic accident from occurring in the first place.

“When a small child is in a room with an open window, it doesn’t matter what floor you’re on, it doesn’t matter the season of the year,” Perry said. “Bad things can happen if a child has access to an open window.”

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The risk for children falling out of windows increases in the summer months, when families typically leave them open for ventilation during hot days.

In June 2017, four toddlers in San Jose, California, fell out of second- or third-story windows in just a two-week span, according to Mercury News.

“The best recommendation we have for parents is to move furniture away from a window’’ Dr. Adella Garland told the newspaper of the influx of accidents, adding, “window screens do not prevent falls.”

The pregnancy and parenting website Very Well Family recommends using a window guard or gate to keep a child from falling out, or installing a window stop or ledge that would prevent it from being opened more than four inches.

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