As temperatures start to increase across the country more windows will be open, but what’s important to know is window falls can happen when least expected. In fact, toddlers have been known to fall out of windows open as little as five inches. Safe Kids Grand Forks encourages adults to actively supervise their children when around open windows.
On average, window falls account for eight deaths and 3,300 injuries for children ages five years and under annually. Safe Kids Grand Forks strongly recommends window guards on all windows above the first floor. Make sure at least one window per room is equipped with guards that have an emergency release device in case of fire.
A screen is not a safety device. It is designed to keep insects out, but not to keep children in. It is a good idea to install safety guards on windows. The American Society for Testing and Standards (ASTM) has written a standard for window fall prevention devices. Make sure that the guards meet ASTM standards for safety.
Window guards were shown to reduce window fall-related deaths by up to 35 percent as part of a pilot program in New York City. Window guards should be considered essential safety equipment.
- Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. For windows above the first floor, install window guards with an emergency release device in case of fire.
- Install window stops so that windows open no more than four inches and keep windows locked when they are not open.
- Keep furniture and toy boxes away from windows so kids can’t climb to the ledge.
- If you have double-hung windows — the kind that can open down from the top as well as up from the bottom — it is generally safer to open the top pane, but growing kids may have enough strength, dexterity and curiosity to open the bottom pane.
- Never try to move a child who appears to be seriously injured after a fall. Call 911 and let trained medical personnel move the child with proper precautions.
For more information about window safety and falls, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.