Preventing Falls

Keep Young Children Away from Those Windows

A few summers ago, I blogged about the dangers of window falls for toddlers. SKW has represented clients in tragic window fall cases, many of whom have suffered brain injuries. In one of our cases, Soproni v. Polygon Apartment Partners, a 20-month old child was severely injured in a fall caused by a defective window latch.

Unfortunately, as often as these tragedies occur, not enough parents and caregivers recognize the pitfalls of keeping windows open around young children.  Earlier this week, a two year old girl fell to her death in the Seattle Maple Leaf neighborhood. I read about this sad story on KOMO News’ website and thought the topic was worth blogging about again if it may prevent even one child from getting needlessly hurt.  As we enjoy the rest of an unusually sunny and warm summer in the Puget Sound, parents should remain on guard about the dangers of open windows.

Earlier this week a 2 year old fell from open window. Photo credit: KOMO News

Earlier this week a 2 year old fell from open window. Photo credit: KOMO News

Below are some tips from SafeKids.org:
Install Window Guards & Stops

  • Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. Properly install window guards to prevent unintentional window falls. For windows above the first floor, include an emergency release device in case of fire.
  • Install window guards that adults and older children can easily open in case of emergency. Include this in your family’s fire escape plan and practice it regularly.
  • Install window stops so that windows open no more than four inches.

Open Windows From the Top and Close After Use

  • If you have windows that can open from both top and bottom, make a habit of opening just the top to prevent accidental falls. Keep in mind that as kids grow, they may have enough strength, dexterity and curiosity to open the bottom.
  • Keep windows locked and closed when they are not being used.

Keep Kids From Climbing Near Windows

  • For your crawlers and climbers, move chairs, cribs and other furniture away from windows to help prevent window falls.
  • Never move a child who appears to be seriously injured after a fall — call 911 and let trained medical personnel move the child with proper precautions.

 

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