Windows can be hazardous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports:
- More than 4,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for window fall-related injuries each year.
- About a dozen children, 10 years old and younger die from their injuries each year.
- Most of the deaths and injuries happen to children under the age of five.
- Even a fall from a first-floor window can cause injury or death.
- Children are more likely to die or be severely injured from window-related falls than falls associated with any other product.
Window covering pull cords also pose a danger. The CPSC has received reports that:
- Many of the victims of window cord strangulation are children under five.
- Victims who were 10 to 15 months old typically became entangled while in their cribs, which were placed near window covering pull cords.
- Older child victims frequently became entangled when climbing on furniture to look out of a window.
- Keep windows locked when they are closed. Create a "Kid Free Zone" around all windows so children learn not to play around windows.
- Never let children open windows by themselves.
- If you must open windows, open them from the top if possible.
- Prevent windows from opening more than four inches by installing window guards or window stops. Products are availible at Doernbecher's Tom Sargent Safety Center. Please contact us at (503) 418-5666 with questions about products or window safety.
- Beware! Window screens may give you a false sense of security. They do not prevent falls. Screens are made to keep bugs out but not to hold children in.
- Teach your children not to lean out of or play near open windows.
- Don’t place furniture children may climb on near windows.
- Consider installing grass, shrubs or mulch under windows. They may help cushion a fall.
- Keep window covering pull cords out of the reach of children. Keep them up, out of the way, with a clamp or clothespin, cleat or tie-down device.
- Cords should not be doubled or form a loop. Each cord should have its own tassel.
- Replacement safety tassels are available free of charge at window covering retailers. Contact the Window Covering Safety Council at (800) 506-4636 for details.