Every year over 5,000 children are treated for injuries related to falls from windows, according to Pediatrics.com; that rates out to be around 14 children every day who fall out of a window and are hurt badly enough to require emergency care. A story by CNN Health outlines that boys are more likely to be involved in window falls than girls and that injury rate is at the highest in the two year old age group – this is the age when many children become curious but can not quite understand the risk involved with testing an open window.
Why Window Screens Just Are Not Enough
If a window is opened, the only thing dividing your home from the outside world is a screen, if one exists to begin with. A window screen is not meant to keep anyone or anything in your house; it is merely meant to keep out bugs and other outdoor creatures. Window screens are not secured well enough and are not strong enough to withhold any impact – most window screens can be pushed out by small animals. One legitimate website outlines that the screen itself is not what fails to hold up in an impact when someone falls out of a window; it is the screen frame that will not hold up against the weight of an animal or person – for this reason it is potentially impossible to make a traditional window screen safe.
What Are Window Guards?
Window guards are a series of small crossbars which are meant to be installed across windows which pose a fall risk to small children. Exact designs and configurations of these systems vary by manufacture; some window guard models are cut to specifications while others are fully adjustable; certain window guards are fixed into place while others are easily removable for fire escape safety. In places like New York and New Jersey, window guards are required by law for every apartment that homes a child under the age of ten.
Increasing Safety around Windows
Window guards are the best way to prevent severe injuries and death as a result of a fall out of a window at home, but the best defense against window fall related injuries is to prevent the accident from occurring at all. Parents should never have furniture near windows in which a child could climb on to open the window or accidently fall through the glass or opened window; easily moved furniture should also be kept far away from windows such as light chairs, toy chests, or small computer desks.
If windows are opened inside the home, they should not be open more than four inches and should be secured with window wedges or locks to prevent your child from opening the window any further – a cracked window does not require much force to push open even further . Proper monitoring of children too young to understand these types of risks can greatly reduce the occurrence of accidents – make caregivers aware of the dangers of window falls to help them understand the importance of taking action to prevent these types of accidents.