Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
Topeka, Kan. — Placing a crib, changing table or even a chair next to a window might offer your child a nice view outside or access to fresh air, but be careful – window falls can happen to anyone and in some cases, can be deadly. Safe Kids Kansas recommends that adults actively supervise their children when around open windows. Toddlers have been known to fall out of windows open as little as five inches.
Every year, window falls account for 12 childhood deaths and 4,000 injuries for children under 10 years old. In Kansas, from 2000-2009 there were 77 accidental falls-related hospital discharges that occurred from falls out of a building or other structure. Most of these falls occurred in younger children. More than half the fall discharges, 62 percent, occurred in children 4 years old and younger. Safe Kids Kansas strongly recommends window guards on all windows above the first floor, preferably guards equipped with an emergency release device in case of fire.
“A screen is not a safety device,” says Cherie Sage, State Director of Safe Kids Kansas. “It’s designed to keep insects out, not to keep children in. Proper safety guards on windows save lives.”
Window guards were shown to reduce window fall-related deaths by up to 35 percent as part of a pilot program in New York City. “In an apartment in a high-rise building, window guards should be considered essential safety equipment,” says Sage.
Safe Kids Kansas also reminds parents and caregivers:
For more information about window safety and falls, call Safe Kids Kansas at 785-296-0351 or visit www.usa.safekids.org. National Window Safety Week is an annual program of the National Safety Council. For more information, visit www.nsc.org.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Kiowa, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.) Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.