Protect your child from window falls

It’s finally here: spring! It’s time to open the windows to let in some fresh air!

But wait, this also is the time of year when you hear news reports about small children falling from windows. In fact, every year, thousands of children fall from open windows causing serious injury or death. This year, there already have been at least two incidences in our area.

Window screens are not enough. They are made to keep bugs outside – they won’t keep children inside. There is an effective device that can help protect children from falling out of windows – window guards. These guards are easy to install and have a release mechanism in case of an emergency.

Remember, no device replaces active parent supervision. Safety items such as window guards are an aide to help busy, overworked parents.

Supervision still is key to keeping your kids safe and making sure they don’t have access to open windows and doors.

To help prevent window falls:

  • Install window guards to prevent children from falling out. For windows above the first floor, install window guards with an emergency release device in case of fire.
  • Keep windows locked and closed when they are not being used.
  • Keep furniture away from windows so kids cannot climb to the ledge.
  • If you have double-hung windows (the kind that can open down from the top as well as from the bottom), it generally is safe to open the top pane. Remember that growing kids may have enough strength, dexterity and curiosity to open the bottom pane.
  • Do not rely on window screens to prevent falls.
  • Supervise children at all times, especially around open windows.

For more information about home safety, visit safekidswi.org.

-Lisa Klindt Simpson, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin Coalition

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