It’s hard to resist cracking open a window to let a cool breeze into your home or apartment, but for families with young children, there’s an inherent danger if they don’t take proper precaution.
Children falling from windows account for more than 5,000 emergency room visits every year. Most of these falls are preventable – and parents who understand the risk can put proper preventions in place.
There’s no replacement for adult supervision when it comes to the safety of children, but the installation of window guards and stops can save your child from serious injury.
Keep these tips from Safe Kids Worldwide in mind when you install your window guard or stop:
- Screens aren’t enough. They’re intended to keep bugs out, not sustain the weight of children.
- Install window stops so windows open no more than four inches.
- When you install window guards, make sure adults and older children can easily open them in case of emergency and practice this as part of your family’s fire escape plan.
Beyond window guards, there’s other suggestions for making a safer environment around second-story and above windows:
- Keep cribs, chairs and other furniture away from windows.
- For double-hung windows, open only the top sash for ventilation and keep the bottom sash closed.
- Don’t allow children to jump on beds near windows. This could lead to a dangerous fall.
National Safety Council Window Safety Task Force lists these suggestions for preventing window falls:
And finally, remember that even a closed window isn’t always a childproof window. As children grow and develop the strength and curiosity to open windows, it’s important to keep them locked.
For other tips, visit the falls prevention tips section at safekids.org. And don’t forget that preparation makes all the difference when it comes to emergencies. Read our last blog post on five ways to prepare for an emergency involving your child so you can make your seconds count when it matters most.