As a parent or caregiver, one of the most important things you can do to ensure the safety of your children is to pay close attention to the potential hazards in your home. One of the most often overlooked areas of concern is window safety. In the Hudson Valley region of New York, where many homes are multi-story, it’s especially important to be aware of the risks that open windows can pose to young children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), falls from windows are a serious threat to children, resulting in approximately 8 deaths and 3,300 injuries each year in the United States. In the Hudson Valley region, where many homes have second or third-story windows, the risk of falls is even higher.
To protect your children from falls, it’s important to take the following precautions:
Install window guards or stops
One of the most effective ways to prevent falls from windows is to install window guards or stops. These devices are designed to prevent windows from opening more than a few inches, which is enough to allow ventilation but not enough for a child to fall through. Window guards and stops should be installed on all windows that are accessible to children, and they should be made of sturdy materials that can withstand a significant amount of force.
Keep furniture away from windows
Children are naturally curious, and they may climb on furniture to get a better view out of a window. To prevent falls, it’s important to keep all furniture away from windows, especially in rooms where children spend a lot of time. This includes beds, dressers, and chairs.
Close and lock windows when not in use
When windows are not in use, they should be closed and locked. This will prevent children from accidentally opening the windows and falling out. Additionally, windows should be closed and locked when you are not at home, as well as at night when children are sleeping.
Educate your children about window safety
It’s important to teach your children about the dangers of windows and the importance of staying away from them. Children should be taught not to play near windows, climb on furniture near windows, or lean out of windows. Additionally, children should be taught to call for help if they see another child in danger near a window.
Use Cordless Window Coverings
Window cords pose a strangulation hazard for young children. To prevent accidents, choose cordless window coverings, such as cordless blinds or cordless shades, for all windows in your home. If you have older window coverings with cords, make sure to keep them securely fastened and out of reach of children.
Regularly Check Window Safety Features
It’s important to regularly inspect and maintain the window safety features in your home. Check window guards, window stops, and window coverings to ensure they are in good working condition and properly installed. If you notice any issues, such as loose or broken components, repair or replace them immediately to maintain their effectiveness.
Supervise Your Child Around Windows
Even with window safety measures in place, it’s crucial to always supervise your child around windows. Avoid leaving young children unattended in rooms with open windows, especially on higher floors. Keep windows closed and locked when not in use, and never rely solely on window screens as they are not designed to prevent falls.
In conclusion, window safety for children is of paramount importance to prevent accidental falls and injuries. Remember, when it comes to window safety, it’s always better to be proactive and take preventive measures to keep your children safe. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured from a window accident through no fault of your own contact us today.