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May 16, 2013

Keeping kids safe from falls around windows

With the warmer weather finally here, chances are you might not think twice about opening the windows in your house. If you have small children, however, it's important to consider their safety.

Unintentional falls are the number one cause of injuries for children. According to 2011 statistics, approximately 3,300 children younger than age 5 suffer injuries due to falls from a window, while 127 are killed as a result of the fall. The majority of these accidents happen at home. So what can parents do to help keep their kids safe?

  • Lock windows when not in use

  • Keep beds, cribs, changing tables, chairs, furniture or anything a child can climb on away from windows

  • Don't rely on screens. Screens are for keeping bugs out and can't withstand the weight of young children leaning on them.

  • Install child safety window guards. There are a variety of guards available, but make sure they include an emergency release device in case of fire.

  • Install window stops so that windows only open four inches or less

  • Always supervise young children, especially around open windows

Tragedies can be prevented with a few simple steps. If you have questions or need safety equipment like window guards, the Safety Center at American Family Children's Hospital can help.