Toddler Crawls Away Unhurt From Third Story Fall

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A neighbor called 911 after seeing a little boy fall from a third-story window. It happened at an apartment complex at 6500 SW 9th St. in Des Moines around 1:30 p.m. Monday.

“He’s OK. He’s OK,” said mom Jestina Simons.

Her son, Aerius, turns two in two weeks. The little boy is doing better than his Mom and Dad.

Aerius was watching cartoons with his 8-year-old brother in their parent’s bedroom. She says she and her husband were in the room next door and had just checked on the pair a few minutes earlier.

“I would never let anything bad happen to my kids. I never leave them alone, nothing. I'm overbearing mother so for this to happen to me, it really upsets me,” Simons said.

Aerius’ mom thinks he tumbled 20 feet to the ground after leaning on a loose screen. He went to the hospital, but doctors found no broken bones, not even a bump or scratch.

“We like to tell people to keep beds away from windows, make sure kids aren't climbing on window sills and pressing on them because they aren't designed to hold the weight,” said SuAnn Donovan, Des Moines Neighborhood Inspection Zoning Administrator.

City code requires landlords to install screens, but for ventilation only. Inspectors check apartments once every three years and records show the Willow Bend Apartments passed its inspection in April 2015.

“If it's an open window, it has to have a screen on it to make sure insects don't get in, but screens aren't designed for protection to keep people in ,” Donovan explained.

Simons knows her little boy had a close call Monday. From now on, she says the bedroom windows will stay locked.

“He must have had some angels watching over him,” Simons said.

The management at the apartment complex tells us they plan to install window guards in the second and third floor units. They will also send a reminder to tenants about window safety.


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