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A dangerous window of opportunity

Spring has finally arrived and it’s the time of the year when it feels great to open the windows and let that spring air in. As I shared in earlier blogs, we moved last summer and I’m learning as I go through an entire year in this new home of what to pay attention to – particularly as I also have a curious toddler at home.

As I opened the windows for the first time this spring, I realized how low to the ground they are – I would say probably 18 inches to 2 feet from the floor in our bedrooms. While we do have window screens, the height really concerns me because Mary is also at a perfect height to lean a little too much and potentially fall out of a window – and in the injury prevention world we say “screens are made to keep bugs out – not children in.”

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, there are 8 deaths and 3,300 injuries from falls from windows annually in children younger than age 5. Each year, Dayton Children’s sees 2-3 window falls – typically from a second or third story window. There are a few things that you can do to keep kids safe from window falls.

  • Don’t rely on window screens to keep kids from falling out of windows.
  • Open windows from the top or use window guards to prevent your child from falling through screens or open windows (kids can fall from windows opened as little as 5 inches, or 12.7 centimeters).
  • Make sure window guards are childproof but easy for adults to open in case of fire.
  • Move chairs, cribs, beds, and other furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing onto sills.

And of course, always supervise children around open windows.

Enjoy this beautiful spring weather!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.