Spring has arrived and as the weather becomes warmer, households will turn off their home heating equipment and begin inserting window screens to enjoy the cool spring breeze that a screen provides. While screens for some may be comforting, for others they are dangerous even deadly especially for small children.
Each year, children die and are injured from window falls. Children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk for such falls due to their curiosity and/or focus is elsewhere, such as a toy, a pet or any number of things while playing near a screened window resulting in an unintentional injury or death. Although the majority of children that fall from windows reside in urban areas, falls do occur, from a first or second-story window, in homes or apartments.
National Window Safety Week is April 7th – 13th. The Prince William County Fire & Rescue System, in conjunction with health and safety organizations/agencies across the U.S., are urging the public to get involved, year round, at home, school and neighborhoods to help reduce unintentional injuries among children by understanding the role of windows. Windows are two-fold; while vital in escaping a home fire or other emergencies, parents and guardians need to understand the importance of protecting against accidental window falls. Listed below are window safety tips to keep your little ones safe:
Window Safety Tips
- Keep children away from open windows.
- Install window guards or window stop devices that prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches (educate family members, older children and adults, on how to release window guards in the event of a fire or other emergency that requires evacuation).
- Keep climbable objects, i.e. furniture, beds, toy chests, etc., away from windows.
- DO NOT place toys and other inviting objects on windowsills.
- Check to make sure porch and balcony railings are spaced 4" apart or less.
- Always provide adult supervision for children around open windows or in risky environments.
Acting System Chief Tim Keen of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System states, "It's important to remember that windows play a vital role in fire safety and should be considered as an alternative exit when planning a home fire escape plan. It's also important to remember that windows pose a threat to young children when left open and unattended. Be proactive in taking the necessary precautions of safely securing windows to ensure your child's safety."
For additional information on window safety, visit the National Safety Council www.nsc.org/ and Safe Kids Worldwide www.safekids.org/.