Window Stops & Guards are Key to Window Safety
April 1-7 is National Window Safety Week
While it’s still rainy in parts of Oregon, warm temperatures will be here this Spring, and that means more windows will be open. For families with children under the age of 6, open windows pose a safety hazard. And, window falls happen when least expected. In fact, toddlers have been known to fall out of windows open as little as five inches.
On average, window falls account for eight deaths and 3,300 injuries for children ages five and under annually across the nation. In Oregon, during 2009-2010, two children died and 89 were hospitalized. Safe Kids Oregon and the Stop at 4″ Campaign to Stop Window Falls strongly recommend window guards on all windows above the first floor.
Screens keep bugs out, not kids in
Parents should not rely on screens. “A screen is not a safety device,” says Ruth Harshfield, Safe Kids Oregon Director. “It’s designed to keep insects out, but not to keep children in. It is a good idea to install safety guards on windows.” The American Society for Testing and Standards (ASTM) has written a standard for window fall prevention devices. Make sure that the guards meet ASTM standards for safety. For a list of where to purchase ASTM guards and stop in Oregon, go to the Stop at 4″ Campaign website.
Install window guards!
Window guards were shown to reduce window fall-related deaths by up to 35 percent as part of a pilot program in New York City. “Window guards should be considered essential safety equipment,” says Harshfield.
Safe Kids Oregon also reminds parents and caregivers:
- Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. For windows above the first floor, install window guards with an emergency release device in case of fire.
- Install window stops so that windows open no more than four inches and keep windows locked when they are not open.
- Keep furniture and toy boxes away from windows so kids can’t climb to the ledge.
- If you have double-hung windows — the kind that can open down from the top as well as up from the bottom — it is generally safer to open the top pane, but growing kids may have enough strength, dexterity and curiosity to open the bottom pane.
- Never try to move a child who appears to be seriously injured after a fall. Call 911 and let trained medical personnel move the child with proper precautions.
For more information about window safety and falls, go to www.stopat4.com or visit www.safekids.org. National Window Safety Week is an annual program of the National Safety Council. For more information, visit www.nsc.org.