University of Missouri Extension
Story source: Karen Funkenbusch, 573-884-1268
COLUMBIA, Mo. – There’s nothing better on a spring day than opening the windows and letting out the stale winter air.
But unlocked windows can open up dangers for children. University of Missouri Extension state health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch says spring is a good time to review safety checks with family members, caregivers and others.
According to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on children age 5 and under, falls from windows result in about eight deaths per year and more than 3,300 emergency room visits.
Adult supervision remains your first line of defense against accidents, Funkenbusch says. She offers these tips:
• Keep children away from open windows and unlocked doors.
• Open the top sash of double-hung windows while keeping the bottom sash closed.
• Insect screens won’t hold the weight of your child. Don’t rely on them to do so.
• Keep furniture away from windows. Curious little ones like to climb on furniture and can fall through glass.
• Install limited-opening hardware that allows a window to open only a few inches.
• Check window cords to prevent strangulation. If you have young children in the home, use only cordless window coverings.
• Each year, check windows to see if they open easily. Paint, dirt, weathering and shifting foundations can cause them to stick. In an emergency, windows may provide your only exit option.
• If you have windows that might be a last-resort escape, plant shrubs where they will soften the blow from a fall.
The National Safety Council has designated April 3-9 as National Window Safety Week. For more information, go to http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/Window-Safety-Week.aspx or http://bit.ly/1LZUOrl.
The MU Extension guide “Home Safety Checklist for Families With Young Children” (GH6020) is available for free download at http://extension.missouri.edu/p/GH6020.