Home is a place where people go to feel safe. You feel secure being surrounded by your family and inside those familiar four walls. But even though your home is a safe space, it’s not without its without its dangers, especially for young children: For example, each year, more than 3,000 children require hospitalization for injuries sustained for falling out of windows, and five children die as a result of window-related falls.
These incidents are tragic not just for the injuries and loss of life, but also because they are entirely preventable. There are a number of relatively small steps that you can take that go a long way toward keeping your children safe from window-related injuries in the home.
The first step toward greater window safety–and the step that pays the greatest dividends–is to make sure that you always supervise young children near windows; that way, you can intervene before they get into danger. Additionally, the Windows Safety Task Force recommends that play areas for children are situated away from windows in an effort to minimize the danger of falls as much as possible. Other recommended window safety tips include keeping windows closed and locked or, for double-hung windows, leaving only the top sash open; keeping furniture away from windows so that children cannot climb on them and get close to windows; and more.
As an added note, be advised that window screens will not support a child’s weight, and a child will fall through if they get to close and lean against them.
While falls account for the majority of window-related injuries among children, there is another danger: strangulation. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that one child dies of window strangulation each month and one more is hospitalized for a strangulation injury. To protect your children, use only cordless window coverings that do not pose a strangulation risk, or place any cords out of reach of children. You can also order free retrofit kits from the Window Covering Safety Council that you can use to help prevent accidents or injuries from window cords.
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