Every summer the press covers kids falling out of windows. Some of these incidents are tragic. Earlier this year, Shannon Sessions, the Public Information Officer for the Lynnwood Police Department, issued the following press release on preventing falls from windows:
Monday, May 7, 2012
Help Prevent Window Falls
Snohomish County, WA – Every year children are injured from window falls. With sunny weather upon us and the temperatures rising – remember, the risk open windows pose for young children. Kids are spontaneous and playful, energetic and persistent. Parents are busy. Toddlers are the most common victims.
Already five times this spring children have fallen from windows.
7 fall-prevention tips from the experts at Safe Kids Snohomish County and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett:
- Move furniture away from windows and balconies. A bed, couch and other furniture allows a child to get higher and closer to a window.
- Only open windows outside of a child's reach or climbing distance. Open double-hung windows from the top. A child can fall from a window opened as little as 5 inches.
- Every year, many children fall out of open windows with window screens. Window screens will not keep your child from falling.
- If you must open a window within a child's reach or climbing distance, install an operable window guard. Window guards have horizontal bars no more than four inches apart that screw into the side of a window frame. They are available in different sizes.
- For windows that can't be used for fire escape, install stops that keep a window from opening wider than 4 inches. These can be purchased at a hardware store for about $2. Some new windows come with stops.
- Plant grass or shrubbery around your home to soften the impact surface in case of a fall.
- Monitor window safety at your child care location and anywhere children visit.