Window Fall Prevention
What are the statistics of falls?
· Child window falls are a national problem, with nearly 5,000 children injured every year.
· Approximately a dozen children die each year from window falls.
· In Oregon, there are approximately 40-50 child window falls per year. In summer 2008, the media reported nearly 12 child window falls in the Portland area during that time. The public is becoming more aware of the problem, and the media is playing a very positive role to raise awareness about the issue. KATU’s “Family Matters” campaign is just one example. In 2009, one child died from a window fall in Oregon; and in 2010 three other children died from window falls in Oregon.
· "Window fall season" is from March through October when the weather is warmer and windows are opened for ventilation.
What are the common injuries from falls?
· Injuries range from scratches to brain injuries to death, depending on the height from which the child fell and the surface.
· The most common serious injuries are skull fractures, brain injury, and spinal cord. The serious injuries are often permanent and irreversible.
What can you do to protect your children?
· If you live in a rental property, contact your landlord about window safety. Some landlords prohibit tenants from modifying or marking the windows.
· U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a Warning in 2008 with a number of prevention tips:
· Safeguard your children by using window guards or window stops (which have quick releases in case of fire).
· Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. (For windows on the 6th floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of fire.)
· Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches.
· Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
· Whenever possible, open windows from the top -- not the bottom.
· Keep furniture away from windows, to discourage children from climbing near windows.
· If you live in the Portland area, visit the The Safety Store at the Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. They have the products and information to help prevent falls.
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