It’s nice to open the windows to let fresh spring air circulate the home. But open windows also bring hidden dangers for children, said Jessica Strong, community health manager at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.
“Windows are a fall hazard for kids, and the consequences can be severe,” Strong said. “Window screens are a great way to keep bugs out, but not kids in.”
Nearly 15,000 children are injured by falling out of windows every year. Often, children were leaning against window screens before they fell. Several children in Utah have already experienced injuries this spring due to window falls.
Window screens are designed to easily pop out in case of a fire or other emergency to help people easily escape. As a result, they give way with moderate pressure.
“The best way to keep children safe from window falls is to keep them away from open windows,” Strong said. “There are a number of precautions that can be taken, but it’s important to remember there is no substitute for adult supervision. Most window falls occur when children are alone.”
Here are some other tips for preventing window falls:
- Keep windows closed and locked.
- Before opening a window, make sure it is inaccessible to children.
- 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 — or at all — without help from an adult.
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