Window falls are predictable and preventable. Each year there are more than 120 fall-related deaths and 2.5 million emergency department visits for children younger than 15 (National Safe Kids).
- Most infants fall from furniture, stairs, or walkers
(older baby walkers can pose multiple risks of injury).
- Most toddlers fall from windows and balconies.*
- Most falls involving older children are from bikes, skateboards, scooters and playground equipment.
* Over 3,000 children under the age of 6, fall from windows every year, with 70% falling from second or third story windows. In Oregon, about 50 fall from windows annually. The majority of window falls occur between the months of May and September.
Window Fall Safety Tips
- Only allow windows to open 4 inches. Install a window stop (PDF) to keep children from opening them further. Be sure an adult can open the window in an emergency.
- If you open windows wider than 4 inches, install window guards (PDF) with an emergency release device.
- Remember, windows also serve as a secondary means of escape during an emergency. Make sure windows are accessible and can open fully without special knowledge or tools.
- Do not rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. Screens are to keep bugs out, not kids in.
- Keep windows locked and closed when not in use.
- Keep furniture — or anything children can use to climb — away from windows.
- Teach children to play a safe distance from windows and enforce this rule in your home (i.e. “we play two big steps from windows”)
- When buying new windows, ask for ones with built-in-4-inch-limiters.
- Learn how to prevent window falls...The Campaign to Stop Window Falls.
Additional Fall Prevention Tips
- Supervision...NEVER leave children unattended on changing tables, beds, sofas, etc.
- Strap children into highchairs, swings, strollers, etc.
- Don’t let children play unattended on balconies, porches, and/or fire escapes.
- Don’t let children play near windows or patio doors.
Don't create hazards
- Avoid use of baby walkers on wheels; all baby walkers should meet current ASTM standards.
- Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs if infants or toddlers are in the home; gates should meet ASTM standards.
- Move furniture away from windows and draperies.
- Use slip-resistant mats or stickers in bathtubs