WWYD – Question from a Reader

So, you are playing with your kids in the park in an urban area. You look around you and see the scene depicted in the above picture. (This picture depicts the third floor of an apartment building).

What do you do? Do you yell up to the kids to get back inside? Do you gather up your own children and go hammer on the apartment door to see if there is an adult there and if said adult is aware that there are children dangerously hanging out of a window? Do you call Child Protective Services? Or do you just move on?

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9 Comments

  1. G6 says:

    I’d definitely yell up.
    Then I’d call 911 if they don’t climb in! (If I knew the neighborhood and if they were Jews, I’d probably go inside)

  2. RubyV says:

    I see this crap all the time in Williamsburg. Go bang on a door, and call 911 if need be. I know kids get into trouble sometimes when backs are turned, and some parents appreciate the heads up, but in certain neighborhoods where very large families are the norm, it seems that losing track of the kids is an epidemic. Window guards are not meant to support weight like that.

  3. I would yell and then go up there. If there was no answer on the door, I’d call 911.

  4. DovBear says:

    There’s a window bar up there. The kids are not in danger.

  5. Mark says:

    It’s not that bad. First of all, the window guards are meant to hold that kind of weight. Otherwise a big thief (or two) could yank them out of the wall pretty easily (or a large adult falling on them could cause them to dislodge). In fact, when I use tapcons (a typical fastener for bars on windows) to attach things to concrete (or to stone), they are rated at hundreds of pounds EACH (and guards that size have ten or fifteen fasteners holding them up).

    Still, those little kids shouldn’t get into the habit of sitting on 3′rd floor windowsills because someday they may encounter one without a guard, or with a guard that has wider spaces between the bars, or a guard that isn’t installed properly.

    So you can yell at them, or politely tell them that you think it’s unsafe, but they will probably ignore you. It is Israel after all :-)

    But this is nothing compared to seeing kids play on outdoor open and unguarded fire escapes 4, 5, or 6 floors up when I grew up in New York City.

  6. Ariela says:

    As someone who has lots of experience with Israeli window bars can attest – they often do not hold that kind of weight. A thieff can yank them off the window very easily. They are to deter the thief — rob someone without bars. They could easily fall off with two babies sitting on them. The bigger questions is – why? Why let your kids sit there?
    To be fair, I was pretty sure that was not going to happen. Just like, I am pretty sure that I will not get into a car accident, and I buckle my kids in anyway. Safety is often for the “what if” and extreme situation. That is why I would never allow my kids to do that.

  7. Scream to them to get away from the window. Call the police (and hopefully, they can help find where the kids’ apartment door is and do the knocking for you). They can decide if child services need to be involved. We have no idea how safe those bars are or if any of the kids are thin enough to slip through and get stuck. They look pretty little. I’d be scared out of my mind if I ever see something like that. My 3-year-old sister used to try to climb out the window because she saw my 14-year-old sister do it. When my mother caught the former doing it because of the latter (and we had no bars), the latter sister was in BIG trouble.

  8. Sarah says:

    I used to think it was wierd until I came to Israel, now I see it all the time. And I guess Ariela saw different bars, because the ones I saw and the ones I’ve tried pushing on wouldn’t budge a bit. They are meant to keep the robbers out, not just make them stay away and rob people who don’t have. I would just ignore it…

  9. Amanda Elkohen says:

    totally normal for Israel. we live on the ground floor and our kids play in the window all the time, although we don’t have the kind of window bars that curve out like that. The issue is VERY SMALL spaces and lots of kids sharing them. the windows are a nice niche to get away from the chaos.
    we did once have people run into our apartment (without knocking) because they heard my daughter crying for several minutes. She didn’t want to be in time out. they thought she was alone (I guess what good Jewish mother would let their kid cry so long? I don’t know). But I’m in the “ignore the tantrum and the behavior will go away” camp. Although I do close the windows now when one is throwing a royal fit I think will last a few minutes.

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