"It is our mission to fight for change to fence laws and regulations so that no other child is needlessly killed. We want to prevent injuries and deaths through education by raising awareness of the dangers, and advocacy for change to prevent any future injuries or deaths. No parent should ever have to know the pain of watching their child die." - Julie Damian (Kade's Mother)
What Happened to Kade?
March 22, 2018
When a normal day turns tragic
On March 22, 2018, Kade Damian died one month before his 3rd birthday when his neck became trapped between the vertical pickets of the neighbor's wrought iron fence. Kade attempted to climb over the low , 4 -foot wrought iron fence, and his neck became trapped between the pickets protruding up above the top rail of the fence. His feet were not able to touch the lower rail he had used to climb up once his neck was trapped. The weight of his body put pressure on his carotid artery, which put him to sleep almost instantly. The official cause of death is mechanical asphyxia.
From a snack after school with his brothers at the table to calling 911 was 5 minutes.
When Kade's father found Kade hanging from the neighbors fence, he was unresponsive. The ER doctor said Kade died instantly. CPR was started immediately and 911 was called. The ambulance arrived quickly and everything possible was done for Kade. In the end, it did not matter because Kade had already died.
This could happen to any family. Less than 5 minutes. Parents, that is a trip to the bathroom, a diaper change for a younger sibling, starting a load of laundry, getting dinner started, or bringing in the groceries from the car. Kade was a healthy, happy, and loved little boy. His family is attentive, involved, and loving. His death is devastating.
Had the fence been designed differently, Kade would still be alive today. A flat topped fence would not have killed him. The fence also presented Kade with a low foothold using the lower rail as a boost up and then the top rail to pull himself up higher. The design made it possible for a young child to easily climb. The open or exposed pickets at the top of the fence are deadly. In Kade's situation, deadly by strangulation. In other cases, similar fences have impaled people and animals causing serious injury and death. Many HOAs and municipalities have banned open picket fencing due to the dangers.
In early 2022, the fence Kade died on was finally removed by new neighbors who moved in next door. The fence is shared by two neighbors and both agreed to have all of the wrought iron fence removed from their properties before the 4th anniversary of Kade's death. The Damian Family is forever grateful to both of these neighbors. The previous neighbors refused to remove or modify the fence despite offers from the Damian Family to help pay for the changes. The fence stood as a constant, daily reminder of Kade's death as well as a continuing danger to Kade's brothers and other children and animals in the neighborhood.
Our mission is to ensure that no one else is killed or injured on this type of fencing. Safe options already exist. It is time for retailers to stop selling this type of fencing; neighborhood designers and builders not to install them in neighborhoods; and, law makers to change laws to prevent further injury and death.
Kade Damian would be alive and well today if the fence design had been different. This can be said without a question. One child death is way too many, please join us in working to prevent any future injuries or deaths!
Click the work for change button to join our movement!