Children fall out of windows more often than you might think. Here are our best window safety tips.
According to the Safe Kids Worldwide 2015 Report to the Nation: Protecting Children in Your Home, about eight children under age 5 die each year from falling out a window and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.
As temperatures warm and families open windows to let fresh spring breezes into their homes, the chances of children falling out a window goes up. Parents often know about securing cabinets and drawers from tip-overs, but they tend to overlook the dangers of leaving windows open when curious children are around.
Common-sense window fall prevention:
- Never rely on the window’s screen as a safety device. Screens are simply meant to let fresh air in and keep insects out — they’re not designed to prevent a fall. Small children can easily pop a screen from its frame if they fall or push against it.
- Supervise children around open windows.
- Install window fall protection like window guards or window wedges to prevent little ones from trying to get windows open.
- Keep windows closed and locked when nobody is in the room.
- Open the top window rather than the bottom window sash.
- Keep cribs, beds, changing tables and other furniture away from windows, to prevent babies and small children from climbing on furniture, then toppling out.
- Plant soft shrubbery and mulch below windows to provide cushioning should a fall occur.
- If a child falls out of a window, do not move him or her. Call 911 for medical help.