Sunday marked the beginning of National Window Safety Week — a time to remind parents, grandparents, babysitters, and all adults who care for children that window falls are preventable.
Each year, window falls account for about eight deaths and more than 3,300 injuries to young children in the United States. In Oregon, 26 children ages 5 and younger fell from windows in 2014 — a decrease from 32 falls in 2013.
Because children frequently land on their heads, many require hospitalization for fall injuries and may have permanent disabilities. A majority of falls occur in warmer weather between May and September, but can happen anytime windows are open.
Window screens are not strong enough to keep a child from falling out of a window. They are designed to keep bugs out, not kids in.
The encouraging news is that simple steps can help prevent injuries and save lives.
As a partner in the Stop at 4 Inches Campaign to Prevent Window Falls, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue urges parents and families to continue their commitment to window safety as we welcome warmer spring and summer weather.
Please share the following tips with friends, family, or anyone else who has children living in or visiting their home.
• Keep windows closed and locked when not in use.
• Keep play areas, furniture, and anything a child can climb on away from windows.
• Do not open windows more than 4 inches and install window stops. Window stops prevent windows from opening wide enough to allow a child to tumble out.
• Window stops should be easily removed by an adult in the event of a fire or other emergency.
• For a double-hung window, open the top portion near the ceiling for ventilation while keeping the bottom portion closed.
• Actively watch children near windows — no device can replace adult supervision.
Visit www.StopAt4.com for more information about window safety, appropriate safety devices for your style of windows, and locations to purchase window stops, locks, and guards. Also, consider looking for built-in safety devices when purchasing new windows and installing softer landscape surfaces beneath windows of your home.