Every year, more than 3,300 children under the age of 5 fall from windows, suffering injuries serious enough to send them to the hospital; sadly, about eight children a year die from these falls. To raise awareness about the risks, the National Safety Council, window and door industry professionals and other child safety advocates formed the Window Safety Task Force. Every year, the Task Force sponsors National Window Safety Week.
The most obvious risk is kids falling from windows that are unsecured. SafeKids has a good child fall prevention tip sheet. Screens are no help at all, they cannot break a fall. If windows will be open, install child-safe window guards. It’s important to know how to safely childproof windows. Child-safe window guards can help, but it’s important not to install anything that would be a hindrance to escape in case of a fire. Safety experts caution that there is a balance between the two needs: fire escape and fall prevention.
Another window hazard is related to window coverings. It’s important to child-proof these coverings to ensure there are no cords, chains or string that can strangle children. Learn what to guard against in the CPSC Safety Alert: Are Your Window Coverings Safe?
Please share these tools with anyone you know who has babies or toddlers. Awareness also needs to spread beyond parents: all too often, accidents happen when someone who is less familiar with children fails to understand or guard against the risk.