CHILDCARE, How to Prevent Second Story Window Falls

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How to Prevent Second Story Window Falls

 
window1Since the number of children falling from windows each year averages around 5,200, and at least one in four of those falls is serious enough to warrant hospitalization, taking the necessary precautions to ensure that kids don’t end up tumbling out of a second-story window is essential.

So important is this safety concern that an annual National Window Safety Week is held to raise awareness of the dangers that can accompany a fall out of a window where kids are concerned.

Think Twice About Furniture Placement

Your toddler’s changing table or your preschooler’s dresser might look perfect under a window, but it’s important to keep in mind that your child’s room is supposed to be a safe haven for her, not something from a decorating magazine spread. Little ones love to climb and explore, and the average age of kids treated for falls from a window is five years old. Make sure that you keep any furniture away from windows so that your little one can’t scale the pieces in order to gain access to a window.

Consider Safety Devices

Window guards and safety stops can prevent windows from opening more than four inches, but can easily be defeated by an adult in case of an emergency that requires evacuation from your home. Look into these products and choose carefully, making sure that none have been recalled and that reviews from customers are favorable.

Don’t Rely on a Screen

The screen in a second story window might keep bugs out while breezes circulate fresh air through your home, but they’re nowhere close to a safety device. Flimsy screens can be easily pushed or kicked out by a determined child, so don’t fall into the trap of believing that the windows on your second floor are secure simply because they’re equipped with screens.

Take Advantage of Remodeling Projects

Home improvements can boost the resale value of your home, increase curb appeal and give you a very real sense of pride in your house. When those improvements include the replacement of old windows, consider safer designs that open from the top rather than the bottom.

Think Twice About Your Decorating Choices

Colorful toys and decorative items are adorable when they’re lined up on a window sill, but they’re also irresistibly attractive to the smaller set. One of the most effective methods of fall prevention when it comes to windows is to ensure that there’s nothing attracting your little one to that area of her room. Reaching for a favorite toy that’s resting on a window sill will make your child take notice of the opening, and could also lead to a completely inadvertent fall.

Keep Your Eyes Open

When it comes to kid safety, there’s really no substitute for dedicated attention and supervision from a parent or childcare provider. Making sure that kids are constantly redirected away from windows and that older kids understand the potential dangers of playing near an open window can help to deter them from approaching the area, but having an attentive eye trained on your child will ensure that she’s never out of your line of vision near such a dangerous fixture in your home.

Stay Abreast of Changes in Safety Guidelines

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commissions recommends that window guards be installed to prevent falls, but all products are not created equal. Be sure that you make a habit of looking up new products to determine how well they work, keeping an eye out for any recalls and being well aware of any changes regarding proper use of such products.

Thanks to Jeralyn Nelson

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