SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (The Daily Dish) – Pediatric safety experts are urging parents and caregivers to take precautions to prevent accidental window falls and traumatic injuries.

According to Karlee Kump, community health manager at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, open windows can be a hidden fall hazard for children, as window screens often give way when even tiny hands push on them, and the consequences can be tragic.

Primary Children’s Hospital treats an average of 28 children each year for injuries suffered from window falls, most commonly between the ages of 3 and 5 years old, and their injuries are getting more serious. Between 2021 and 2022, injury severity increased nearly 60 percent, including one fatality. During that same time, trauma experts at Intermountain Riverton Hospital treated three patients who had fallen from windows – triple the number of window falls injuries typically seen in a year.

One of the children injured in 2021 was Jazarah Staton, who fell from her second-story bedroom window when she was 3 years old. Her parents heard a thud on the garage door, just below Jazarah’s bedroom, and rushed to her room. They found her on the ground, crying, and rushed her to Riverton Hospital where she was diagnosed with a frontal skull fracture and a minor brain bleed.

As Jazarah healed, her parents purchased window locks for their home, ensuring they cannot open more than a few inches without a parent’s help. They also are urging people to remove furniture and other items kids can climb on from areas around windows to prevent accidental falls. Primary Children’s recommends the 4-Inch rule: Open windows no more than 4 inches to prevent falls.

The hospital is offering free window clings as a visual reminder to prevent window falls. The window clings can be placed on windows where people will see them as they go to open their windows. They are about four inches wide, and include an image reminding people to only open windows four inches or less. The window clings come in English and in Spanish and will be mailed to homes for free while supplies last.

In addition to the free window clings, the hospital offers the following tips for preventing window falls:

· Keep windows closed and locked.

· Before opening a window, make sure it is inaccessible to children.

· Open windows no more than 4 inches.

· Keep furniture or anything children can climb on away from windows.

· Teach children only to open windows with permission and help from adults.

· Consider installing window locks, guards, or other safety equipment to prevent children from opening windows too wide.

· Supervise children around open windows.