As spring arrives, the Window Safety Task Force of the National Safety Council encourages parents and caregivers to recognize the importance of practicing window safety year-round. Window Safety Week is observed April 3-9. However, open windows can be dangerous any time of year for young children who are not properly supervised.
Falls from a window can result in serious injury or death and pose an especially dangerous threat for children. Every year, about eight children younger than age five die from falling out a window, and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.
“It only takes seconds for a preventable window fall to occur,” says Amy Artuso, program manager for the National Safety Council. “To avoid these needless tragedies, it is very important for parents and caregivers to take steps to prevent home falls.”
To protect children, the Window Safety Task Force offers the following tips:
- 1. When young children are around, keep windows closed and locked.
- 2. When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child’s reach.
- 3. Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing.
- 4. Don’t allow children to jump on beds or other furniture to help reduce potential falls.
- 5. Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.
- 6. Supervise children to keep child’s play away from windows, balconies or patio doors.
- 7. Install ASTM F2090 compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards (with quick-release mechanisms in case of fire or other emergency) to help prevent a fall.
- 8. Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency, such as a fire.