During the first week of each April, the National Safety Council partners with the Windows Safety Task Force to heighten awareness around the issue of fall prevention and window safety. Coinciding with the first week of spring and warmer weather when people are likely to begin opening their windows, the observance of National Safety Week highlights the dangers of open windows and teaches safeguarding against falls.
Child window safety is an ongoing concern, as unintentional falls are a leading cause of injuries for children. These falls typically happen at home and toddlers lead the injury statistics, accounting for two-thirds of all cases. The Center for Injury Research and Policy reports that about 5,100 children under the age of eighteen are injured from window falls per year. Additional statistics show that boys account for 58% of window falls, most of which happen from the second floor. Accidental falls from windows account for approximately eight deaths per year.
Follow these tips for window safety in the home:
- Set and enforce rules about keeping children’s play away from windows or patio doors.
- Keep furniture children can climb away from windows. Children may use such objects as an aid to climb to an open window and potentially fall.
- Open windows from the top and close after use. If you have windows that can open from both top and bottom, make a habit of opening just the top to prevent accidental falls. Keep in mind that as children grow, they may have enough strength, dexterity and curiosity to open the bottom so try to keep windows locked and closed when they are not in use.
- Install window guards and stops. Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. Window guards that are properly installed prevent unintentional window falls. For windows above the first floor, include an emergency release device in case of fire. Window stops are also a great idea. They allow fresh air and a cross breeze and still ensure windows can’t open wide enough for children to fall out.
CED’s engineers have a vast background and experience in premises liability and can determine through investigation whether the conditions of a room, building, home or window caused the fall. To find out exactly what factors contributed in your incident, contact us or submit your inquiry.