Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Warm Weather Risks: Window Falls

Springtime means open windows and cool breezes, but it’s also a good time to check or install window guards to keep kids safe, especially since it is Window Safety Week.

Window guards can help protect children from falling, which occurs more frequently in large urban areas, like Washington, DC. Children living in multi-unit buildings have the highest number of window fall incidents.

According to Safe Kids USA, an average of 100 children die from fall-related injuries every year. Falls are also the leading cause of unintentional injury for all children ages 14 and under and in 2009, about 2.4 million children sustained nonfatal fall-related injuries.

Fortunately, parents can use window guards to keep their children from falling.

Tips to Prevent Window Falls

  • Install Window Guards and Stops
    • Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. Properly install window guards to prevent unintentional window falls. For windows above the first floor, include an emergency release device in case of fire. 
    • Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches. 
  • Open Windows From the Top and Close After Use 
    • If you have windows that can open from both top and bottom, make a habit of opening just the top to prevent accidental falls. 
    • As kids grow, they may have enough strength, dexterity, and curiosity to open the bottom. Keep windows locked and closed when they are not being used. 
  • Keep Kids From Climbing Near Windows 
    • For your crawlers and climbers, move chairs, cribs, and other furniture away from windows to help prevent window falls.
If your child does fall, never move him if he appears to be seriously injured after a fall. Call 911 and let trained medical personnel move the child with proper precautions.

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