Safeguarding Your Windows

More than 5,000 children and teens are injured in the U.S. each year in falls from windows. That's an alarming statistic.

According to a recent study by Pediatrics journal that suggests the problem stretches beyond urban high-rises, many children actually fall from first and second-story windows.

Take this story for instance: A six year-old girl named Sidney Dillon survived a fall from a second-story window in her family's home in Galloway, Ohio. The child was sitting on the sill and was leaning against the window screen when it gave way just as her mother was entering the room. The horrified mother ran outside to see that Sidney had fortunately landed in a bush and fresh landscaping mulch. The girl suffered no broken bones, but the family installed window guards to ensure this accident never happens to them again.

Window guards are fairly inexpensive and can provide the peace of mind against accidental falls while still offering a quick release feature that allows escape from a fire or other emergency. Parents should also consider moving furniture away from windows and only opening windows from the top, if possible.

Preschoolers are at the highest risk for falls from windows and they suffer more head injuries than older children, according to the study. Preschoolers are mobile and curious, yet they do not understand the danger associated with windows.

The study captured data from 1990 through 2008. An estimated 98,415 children were hurt from falls from windows during that time. The average yearly injury rate was about 7 injuries per 100,000 children. Summer months obviously saw the highest number of falls because windows are regularly left open.

Approximately 14 children per day are seen in emergency rooms throughout the country after falling through windows. Don't let your child or a child visiting your property become victim to this accident. Safeguard your windows and keep an eye on small children to prevent disaster from happening.