Did you know that unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the United States?
Most of these injuries are from climbing on furniture, falling downstairs, playing on playgrounds and one more that you probably have not thought of–playing near an unsecured window.
“According to a report from Safe Kids Worldwide, 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,” said Jill Lucas Drakeford, a Carilion Clinic Community Health educator and coordinator for Safe Kids Southwest Virginia.
But luckily, this danger is completely preventable and it can be an easy one to fix. It just requires a little window safety.
Lucas Drakeford shares her top tips from Safe Kids Worldwide and the National Safety Council.
- Don’t rely on screens. Install a window guard or stop.
Screens may keep bugs out, but that does not mean that they will keep children in. Install window guards or window stops to prevent falls.
These devices can be easily found at your local home improvement store and online. Plus, they are easy to install.
Just make sure that you include an emergency release device in case of a fire.
Safe Kids Worldwide recommends Guardian Angel window guards, KidCo window stops or KidCo mesh window guards because these all meet ASTM safety standards.
- Open windows from the top.
If your windows open from the top and the bottom, make sure to only open the top part of the window. And remember to close the widows after use.
However, keep in mind that this should not be your go-to solution once your child gets taller and their dexterity and ability to crawl increases. Window guards and stops are always the safest solution.
- Keep furniture away from windows.
Kids love to crawl and explore so make it a habit to keep any furniture, high chairs or cribs away from windows.
If your child does fall, never try to move a child who appears to be seriously injured. Call 911 and leave it to the professionals, who will be able to move the child with proper precautions and equipment.
Don't forget about your window treatments.
“According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about one child per month dies from window cord strangulation,” said Lucas Drakeford.
Lucas Drakeford recommends using only cordless window coverings, but if your blinds do have cords you can retrofit your coverings.
Check out detailed instructions from the Window Safety Council or order a free retrofit kit.
Watch the video below from Safe Kids Worldwide to learn more about why window safety matters. For one family, it changed their life in an instant.