HONOLULU — The death of a Hawaii boy who fell out of a window in a military housing unit has sparked a national initiative to prevent similar deaths at other military homes.
U.S. Republican Rep. Mike Turner, of Ohio, introduced a bill on Friday that would require the Department of Defense to install window fall protection devices, such as window guards, in military homes, KHON-TV reported.
The bill is named after Evan English, 4, who died in 2011. He and his family lived at Aliamanu Military Reservation in Honolulu when his father Jason English was stationed at Pearl Harbor.
"This is a basic safety issue, where really we had gotten lax," Turner said. "We had been providing the security and the safety for families and their children in this housing. We stepped back from that."
Jason English and his wife filled a lawsuit against the U.S. government following Evan's death. After the lawsuit, the parents continued to work to change codes and laws to prevent future deaths, said Honolulu attorney Wayne Parsons, who represented the English family.
About 80 children die from falling from windows or lanais in Oahu per year, the Hawaii Health Department of Health said.
"Other families do not have to feel this grief, and they can plan a birthday instead of a funeral," Ami English said.
The House will vote on the bill in the coming weeks.