Each year, especially during the warmer spring and summer months, children fall out of windows and require care in hospitals. In 2014, Harborview Medical Center treated more than 30 children for injuries related to window falls. Window falls are preventable. Follow these precautions in your home to prevent window falls:
Don’t rely on window screens.
Screens keep bugs out, not kids in. They are designed to pop out for fire safety and can be pushed out by the weight of a toddler. Most window falls happen from windows with properly installed screens.
Use window stops or window guards.
Install window guards or stops that prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches. Both of these safety devices can be easily removed by an adult in an emergency. Visit Stopat4.com for more information.
Keep play areas near windows safe.
Areas in front of windows should be kept clear of anything a child can climb on – furniture, toys and laundry. Enforce a “kid free zone” in front of windows where they are not allowed to play. Keep kids from sitting on or jumping from windowsills.
Remember that windows attract curious children.
Children under age 7 are not likely to remember safety warnings and are most at risk of falling from windows. Keep windows closed and locked when not in use. Open double-hung windows from the top rather than the bottom. Ask about window safety when your child visits another home.