Warmer weather, open windows raise risk of kids falling from windows
Tips to help keep children safe
More than 5,000 children are treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments each year for window fall-related injuries. These falls and injuries tend to be more common during the spring and summer months since people tend to open their windows during warm weather.
According to Stephanie Mateev, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, the fall rate is highest among children younger than 5 years of age. These young children are also at the highest risk for sustaining serious injuries, including life-threatening head injuries. Boys are at a slightly higher risk for falls from windows.
Mateev said UC Davis sees several cases per month and reminds parents that a window screen can help, but is not designed to stop a child from falling.
“If a bed is up against a window, it is very important to keep the window securely locked,” Mateev said. “We see a number of children playing on their beds that have jumped or rolled off the bed and out the window.”
Experts recommend the following tips for homes with children:
- Keep windows closed and locked where children are playing.
- Install window guards on all windows on the second story or higher.
- Install locks on sliding windows.
- Move furniture away from windows so children cannot climb on beds, chairs or dressers to access windows.
- Do not leave young children at home unsupervised.