"It is our mission to fight for change to fence laws and regulations so that no other child is needlessly killed. This type of fence killed Kade Damian and it is only a matter of time before another child is killed or injured. We want to prevent this outcome through education to raise awareness of the danger, 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 stuck between the bars of the neighbor's wrought iron fence. Kade attempted to climb over their low wrought iron fence, and his neck became trapped in the bars protruding up above the top bar of the fence. His feet were not able to touch the lower bar once his neck was trapped and 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.
Kade was out of his parents sight for no more than 5 minutes. He had just had a snack and went outside to play in the backyard with his little brother. The yard has a privacy fence and the gate was supposed to have been secured with a clip on the outside to prevent anyone from opening the gate from the inside of the yard. The lock on the gate Kade left the yard through had been left off when neighborhood friends came into the yard to play. No one realized the gate had not been secured when the boys went outside that day. Kade's parents were outside on the opposite side of the yard in the driveway when the accident occurred.
When Kade's father found him hanging from the neighbors fence, he was unresponsive. His color was good, but he was not breathing. 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.
From the last time Kade was seen healthy and playing in the back yard to time of death in the hospital ER was 32 minutes. This could happen to any family. 5 minutes was all it took. Parents, that is a trip to the bathroom, a diaper change for a younger sibling, starting a load of laundry. Kade was a healthy, happy, and loved little boy. His family is attentive, involved, and loving. His death is devastating but completely preventable. Yes, eyes should be on your children at all times. However, we as humans and parents know this is not possible every second of every day. We do what we can to prevent disaster (locks, outlet plugs, car seats, helmets, seat belts, and change things when they present a danger we didn't see before).
Had the fence been designed differently, Kade would still be alive today. A flat topped fence would not have killed him. The decorative bars at the top are deadly. In Kade's situation, deadly by strangulation. In other cases, similar fences have impaled people and animals causing serious injury and death. The neighbor has yet to remove, modify, or replace the fence despite several requests to do so. Kade's family has even offered to help pay for the changes. The fence is a constant reminder of Kade's death, and a daily hazard to his brother and neighborhood children's safety.
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. Cribs and banisters have been modified to prevent injury and death. It is our mission to not rest until this type of fencing is changed. One child death is way too many, please join us in working to prevent any future injuries or deaths!
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