7 tips for window safety
April 1-7 is National Window Safety Week.
Windows provide sunlight, a nice breeze, and an opportunity to escape a home in the event of an emergency. However, without proper care and education, they can also be a huge risk to the safety of your children.
According to the National Safety Council, about eight children under the age of five die each year from falling out of a window, and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.
As warmer weather arrives and some may wish to open windows and let the warm spring air in, it’s important to remember the dangers tied to this common home feature. This is why the National Safety Council encourages everyone to observe the first full week of April as National Window Safety Week.
Here are some basic tips to keep your wee ones safe from the dangers associated with windows:
- If a window is open for ventilation, be sure that it is not within a child’s reach. If a home features double-hung windows, open the top and keep the bottom closed, especially on upper floors.
- If a window is closed, check to make sure it is also locked.
- Keep furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing on the furniture and potentially falling into or through the window.
- Keep in mind that screens are meant to keep insects out of homes. They are not designed to keep children from falling out of windows, and they will not hold a child’s weight in the case of a fall.
- Install limited-opening hardware, which only allows windows to open a few inches. Be aware that the window guard must have a release mechanism so that it can be opened for escape in a fire emergency.
- Always check that cords are out of reach of young children, and use cordless window coverings when possible (child-safe window blinds and shades are available at many home improvement stores). Nearly one child a month dies after becoming entangled in a window-covering cord, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Most importantly, educate your child on the dangers of windows. For a printable children’s activity book provided by the National Safety Council, click here.
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