For parents, providing a safe, secure place for their children to learn and grow is of the utmost importance. This is why we see parents undertake the daunting task of “child-proofing” their homes; making sure every potentially harmful substance or piece of equipment is locked down and secured.
Unfortunately, Windows often get overlooked during this process. According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, over five thousand children will be treated for injuries sustained by falls from windows. Taking the following steps can prevent these injuries:
- Sliding windows should be secured with locks so children cannot easily open them.
- Arrange chairs, couches, and other furniture so that children cannot use it to climb up to the window. NEVER put a baby’s crib next to a window.
- Do not rely on window screens to stop a fall. Screens are in no way designed to function as a safety device and should not be treated that way.
- Install window stops or window guards. Window stops are installed along the track of a sliding window and prevent them from opening all the way (no more than 4 inches is suggested). Window guards are installed on the outside of the house and cover the openings so even if the window is open, a child cannot fall out. Should you choose a window guard, choose a model that has a quick release function in case of a fire or any other household emergency.
- Do not leave young children at home while unsupervised.
- Installing materials beneath windows (like shrubs, wood chips or grass) will soften the blow should an accident take place.