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 during Window Safety Week, being observed April 5-11. However, open windows any time of year can be dangerous for young children who are not properly supervised. These measures and levels of supervision are even more important now, as the spread of COVID-19 has led to many families to stay indoors for long periods of time.
“During this time when families are sheltering in place and children are home from school, the risk for window falls increases,” says Angela Dickson, co-chair of the Window Safety Task Force. “To avoid needless tragedies, everyone is encouraged to share window safety tips to keep children safe – post tips on your website and share via social media to help spread the word.”
Each year, the Window Safety Task Force takes the first full week in April to educate on the importance of practicing window safety year-round.
Falls from a window can result in serious injury or death and pose an especially dangerous threat for children. Every year, about eight children under age five die from falling out a window, and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.
To protect children, the Window Safety Task Force offers the following tips:
- When young children are around, keep windows closed and locked.
- When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child’s reach and gaining access to an open window.
- Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing.
- Don’t allow children to jump on beds or other furniture to help reduce potential falls.
- 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.
- Supervise children to keep child’s play away from windows, balconies or patio doors.
- 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.
- Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency, such as a fire.