SEATTLE -- An awning may have saved the life of a 3-year-old boy who fell from a second-story window at a SeaTac motel Monday morning.

The King County Sheriff's Office says the child fell from the window at the Days Inn. He hit an awning before landing on the concrete. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center with minor shoulder injury.

The mother, according to the sheriff's office, said her two boys were playing near the air conditioning unit in the window. The window had a screen in place. The mother said she turned her back for a moment and the boy went out the window.

Most window falls are caused by children falling against screens that are not designed to support their weight, according to Dr. Brian Johnston, chief of pediatrics at Harborview Medical Center.

Johnston said the hospital receives about 50 young window fall patients annually. About one-fourth of the children suffer a serious head injury or permanent disability.

To reduce the risk:

- Do not open windows more than four inches.
- Place a guard or stop in the window.
- Move furniture and boxes away from windows to discourage children from climbing on them to reach an open window.