As temperatures go up, so do windows in many homes. Opening windows in your home to enjoy the warmer temperatures may seem harmless, but open windows have proven to be sources of injury and death for young children. The first week of April was Window Safety Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of windows in escaping a fire or other emergency, as well as educating parents and caregivers on how to prevent accidental window falls.
Many people don’t think about the threats windows pose to children, but the risk is very real. See the statistics below according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report:
These deaths and injuries frequently occur when kids push themselves against window screens or climb onto furniture located next to an open window. These incidents increase dramatically during the spring and summer months.
Window coverings also present a danger to young children, as about one child a month dies after becoming entangled in a window covering cord. Accessible window covering cords pose a deadly strangulation hazard to young children nationwide and are considered one of the top hidden dangers in the home.
Have you taken any steps to prevent these accidents? If not, it’s never too late to take action. Take these few simple precautions to help protect your young loved-ones:
- Install window guards or window stops.
- Guards: to prevent children from falling out
- Stops: so that windows open no more than 4 inches
- Use cordless window coverings.
- Never depend on screens to prevent children from falling out of windows – they cannot support a child’s weight.
- Keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing and potentially falling from an open window.
- Whenever possible, open windows from the top, not bottom.
While Window Safety Week is typically the first week of April, we encourage you to practice window safety year-round. Important lives depend on it!