CPSC: Parents, Caregivers Should Consider Safety Before Opening Windows

To prevent falls from windows parents and caregivers should be aware of the dangers of leaving windows open when young children are present.
April 8, 2011
Release Number: 11-192

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As temperatures go up, so do windows in many homes. Opening windows in your home to enjoy the warmer temperatures may seem harmless, but open windows have proven to be sources of injury and death for young children.

This week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) joins the National Safety Council in recognizing National Window Safety Week and urges parents and caregivers to be aware of the dangers of leaving windows open when young children are present.

According to CPSC data, falls from windows result in an average of about eight deaths yearly to children five years or younger, while an estimated 3,300 children ages five and younger are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency departments. On average, one of every three children, about 34 percent, required hospitalization after falling from a window.

These deaths and injuries frequently occur when kids push themselves against window screens or climb onto furniture located next to an open window. These incidents increase dramatically during the spring and summer months.

“We want parents and caregivers to think ‘safety first’ before opening windows where young children are present. The deaths and life-altering injuries are heartbreaking and in many cases preventable,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

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 - instead of the bottom.

- Keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows.

- Some jurisdictions require landlords to install guards. Check your local regulations.

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