According to a report by the Tokyo Fire Department, 114 children under 5 years of age fell from balconies or windows between 2011 and 2015 in Tokyo. One approach to prevent such falls is the design of a fence that children cannot climb over. It is necessary to investigate the relationship between climbing behavior and fence design.
We conducted an experiment in which children climbed a designed apparatus that included a fence. In the designed apparatus, the diameter of the handrail (30 or 100 mm), the position of the handrail (just above the fence or 100 mm on the near side of the fence), the height of the footing (300 or 650 mm), and the shape of the top face of the footing (horizontal or sloped) could be changed.
A total of 21 children aged 26 to 76 months participated. The children were 2, 4, and 6 years of age, and the number of children in each age group was seven. Except for one subject who climbed the fence under two conditions, children of 2 years of age could not climb the fence under any condition. Two of the seven children of 4 years of age climbed the fence under all conditions. The probability of climbing over the fence under the condition in which the handrail was located at the near side of the fence was approximately half that under the condition in which the handrail was located just above the fence. Children of approximately 6 years of age climbed the fence under all conditions.
Based on the results, we found that installing handrails on the near side of the fence is effective for preventing climbing. As another approach, we are trying to develop a monitoring system based on IoT and AI technologies.