Protect Children from Window Falls
Window screens may not be enough to secure your home windows from accidents. Help prevent accidental falls from windows with these tips from MetLife, YourLife.
Every year, approximately 5,200 children under the age of 18 are treated at emergency rooms for injuries caused by falls through windows. Most often, the injuries—and sometimes fatalities—involve preschool-age children, with the highest rate of falls among 2-year-olds.
Take steps to secure your windows with these recommendations:
- Install window guards on all windows above the ground floor and on first-floor windows more than 12 feet off the ground. Guards often come in the form of aluminum or steel grilles. Choose window guards that screw into the window frame as opposed to spring-loaded installations, which children may be able to push out. Be sure to select guards that offer a quick release feature so the window is accessible in the event of a fire or other emergency.
- Pay special attention to windows in the children’s rooms, as well as other areas they may be in, such as the parents’ bedroom, bathroom, or hallway. Note: Window guards used for home security may have a gap of 5 inches or more between bars, so are not recommended for use as a safeguard for children. Safety guards have gaps of 4 inches or less between bars.
- Install window stops that prevent the window from being opened more than 4 inches wide. A locking stop gives parents more control over the operation of the window than the standard window lock mechanism. If you rely on this method of protection, however, always leave the stop in a locked position.
- Move furniture or items children can climb on away from windows. This simple step helps keep children’s activities farther away from the opening.
- Plant bushes and use mulch under windows, which may help reduce the extent of injuries if a fall should occur.
- Talk to school age children about the dangers of windows and falls. Never allow kids to play on a fire escape landing or rooftop that’s accessible by a window.
- Remember: Screens do not protect children from falls. They can be easily pushed or kicked out, or the weight of the child can cause the screen to collapse.
Find out more about reducing the risk of falls and injuries in your home from MetLife Auto & Home®.