With the arrival of the warmer spring weather, families across the nation are opening their windows to let the fresh air in. This pleasant feeling can quickly turn tragic in households with small children. In recent weeks, several children have fallen from windows. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning parents and caregivers to take precautions to keep children from falling from windows.
"CPSC staff is aware of at least 18 falls from windows through media reports, including two deaths, involving small children since April," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "We are issuing this warning so parents will take the necessary steps to prevent these incidents from happening."
These deaths and injuries frequently occur when kids push themselves against window screens or climb onto furniture located next to an open window.
From 2002-2004, CPSC staff received an average of 25 reports a year of fatalities associated with falls from windows. Children younger than five years of age account for approximately one-third of these reported fatalities. For all age categories, more males died from window falls than females.
To help prevent injuries and tragedies, CPSC recommends the following safety tips:
- Safeguard your children by using window guards or window stops.
- Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. (For windows on the 6th floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of fire.)
- Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches
- Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
- Whenever possible, open windows from the top -- not the bottom.
- Keep furniture away from windows, to discourage children from climbing near windows.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.