Preventing Window Fall Related Injuries
Injuries to a local youngster who recently fell from a third-story window have prompted the Allegheny County Health Department to remind parents and others who care for small children to be extra cautious around open windows.
“Those who keep windows open to cool their home during the summer must take special precautions to prevent serious and sometimes fatal injuries, which typically result from a young child’s natural curiosity to explore their environment,” said County Health Director Dr. Bruce W. Dixon.
Health officials recommend these tips to prevent window falls and injuries:
* Never leave small children alone, especially near any open windows, even in a single-story home or apartment. Set and enforce rules not allowing youngsters to play near open windows.
* Don’t depend on window screens to prevent children from falling. Screens keep out the bugs but don’t keep in the kids and can easily give way under even a small child’s weight.
* If possible, keep windows closed and locked. If you must open them for ventilation, install window guards that keep them from opening more than four inches or only open windows that small children can’t reach, such as the top of a double-hung window.
* Move furniture and anything else kids can climb on away from open windows.
* Use cordless window blinds or clip loops in cords high enough to keep them out of children’s reach and remove a potential strangulation hazard.
* Plant shrubs or place wood chips beneath windows to lessen the impact if a fall occurs.