It is the season for child window falls
Windows must be safeguarded to keep young children safe! Warm weather brings open
windows that can prove dangerous for young children.
Sadly, window falls are not uncommon between the months of May to September. In fact, it is something that has become predictable, therefore it is preventable.
Children 5 and under are most likely to fall from windows. The reasons are numerous:
• warm weather brings open windows
• young children enjoy the view and fresh air
• screens do not hold against the weight of a child leaning against it
• small children do not understand the dangers of an open window
• small children are top-heavy due to the size of their head in relation to their body, and lose their balance easily
• furniture near windows allow children to get too close
How to Prevent Child Window Falls
These incidents are preventable. Window safety devices, which should not be confused with window security devices, are available, but not in every store. To be sure you find the right devices, check with the Stop At 4 website at www.StopAt4.com to learn which devices serve as window safety devices.
There are essentially three kinds of devices:
Window Opening Control Devices - these limit the window's opening to less than four inches, the same distance used for railings, crib rails, and other places where children might push through. These devices also need to maintain the window as a means of emergency escape, in case of fire. This means they can open easily, but like a child resistant pill bottle or a child resistant lighter, there needs to be two functions that require strength and dexterity to allow them to operate. It must also re-set when the window is closed from the opened position. These should not be confused with security devices that clamp onto window tracks or otherwise do not have the characteristics above.
Window Guards - these cover the window with bars or a netting, but have the same release characteristics as the Window Opening Control Devices. The spacing of the bars must also be less than four inches. These should not be confused with security bars.
Safety Screens - these replace ordinary screens with a screen fit with a stronger screen fabric and frame assembly. Placing these in existing windows would require special order from a manufacturer who would provide them with the necessary releases. These are best suited for new construction or with replacement windows.
• Windows still need to be monitored by adults. Curious children are naturally attracted to open windows and even more so, to what is outside.
• Teach kids to maintain a safe distance from a window, much like you would a hot stove or fireplace.
• Keep furniture away from windows so children do not have a means to climb up to a window. Most windows, by design, are too high for children age 5 and under to access.
• Windows serve as a means of light and fresh air, but also as a means of emergency escape in a fire (or for firefighters to access the home). Working smoke alarms on each level of a home and in each sleeping room provide early warning and usually safe escape through a door (rather than a dangerous window). Check smoke alarms today.