This is the time of year when families are opening their windows to take advantage of the rising temperatures. Safe Kids Snohomish County wants to provide parents with window safety tips so kids are free to explore without the risks that come from unsecured windows.
Window falls account for approximately 8 deaths and 3,300 injuries among children ages 5 and under each year. So far this year, beginning in March, Providence Regional Medical Center has treated 9 kids for serious injuries due to a fall from a window.
Window falls are more common than we think. Even a fall from a first story window can be life threatening. “We don’t want to see any child hurt from a window fall, especially when there are simple things parents can do to ensure that their kids are safe when the windows are open,” said Shawneri Guzman, Safe Kids Snohomish County coordinator.
Safe Kids Snohomish County recommends the following 4 tips to help prevent window falls.
1. Keep windows closed and locked. To be safe, try to remember to keep windows closed and locked whenever children are around or they are not in use.
2. Open windows that a child cannot reach. If you have windows that can open from both top and bottom, make a habit of opening just the top to help prevent accidental falls. Keep in mind that as kids grow, they may have enough strength, dexterity and curiosity to open the bottom.
3. Keep kids from playing near windows. For your crawlers and climbers, move chairs, cribs and other furniture away from windows to help prevent window falls. Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not kids in.
4. Determine your family’s emergency escape plan and practice it. Remember that windows may be your escape route during an emergency. If you plan to install window guards or stops, make sure they include an emergency release device in case of a fire.
About Safe Kids Snohomish County
Safe Kids Snohomish County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Its members include local and county law enforcement, fire/EMS, hospitals, clinics and more. Safe Kids Snohomish County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Snohomish County was founded in 1999 and is led by Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. For more information, visit safekids.org or www.providence.org/nw-safekids.