Do you think it's possible your child or pet could fall out one of your windows?
When you open your windows to bring in fresh air and sunshine, don't forget to practice window safety to help prevent accidental falls.
About 5,200 children in the U.S. — 14 children per day — are taken to hospitals each year for treatment for injuries sustained from falling out windows, according to a study by the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
You can protect your family, visitors and pets by following these important window safety tips in your home.
Lock the windows
It might seem like an obvious task, but keep the windows closed and locked when not in use for ventilation.
When you do open double-hung windows to let in fresh air, a safer solution is to pull the top sash down and keep the lower sash closed when there are children or pets in the home.
Remember, insect screens are designed to provide ventilation and to keep insects out, not to keep children or pets inside.
For added safety in children’s rooms, consider installing window guards or window fall prevention devices that meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.
Consider furniture placement
Keep furniture, like beds or dressers, away from windows. Furniture placed directly under a window can create an enticement for a child or pet to climb and the potential to fall through the window.
Look at your landscaping
Plant soft shrubs, like boxwood or yews, to help soften a fall under exterior windows that might be used as an emergency escape route.
Take a look at the window treatments
Window treatments, like blinds or shades, with traditional cords can contribute to childhood or pet injuries. For added protection, choose blinds and shades with no room-side cords.
Keep an eye on the kids
While it's nearly impossible to watch your kids or pets 100 percent of the time, encourage your kids to keep their play away from windows. Teach them to never lean against a window or door screen.
Don't allow children to jump on beds or other furniture, especially near windows.
And lastly, do a daily “clutter sweep” to remove tripping hazards near exit routes from windows, doors and balconies.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on April 14, 2014. A version of this article also appeared on the Pella Pressroom website.
What measures have you taken to provide a safe environment for your children or pets? Tell us about it in the comments section below.