It’s time to throw open the windows—but do so carefully. Windows rank as one of the top hidden hazards in our homes (Learn about the others here). An average of eight children age 5 and younger die and more than 3,300 are injured each year from falling out of windows (SafeKids Worldwide, 2022). The Window Safety Task Force provides these tips to help protect children from accidental window falls:
- Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a fall. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.
- When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child’s reach.
- Supervise children to keep child’s play away from windows, balconies or patio doors.
- Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing and gaining access to an open window.
- Use only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords in homes with young children. Free retrofit kits are available through the Window Covering Safety Council.
Don’t forget to look to windows when planning your home fire drill and emergency escape routes. You should plan two possible ways out of any room, especially bedrooms, in case the door can’t be used because of smoke or fire. That second exit is probably a window. Make sure the window can be opened, and practice doing so.