Window falls send 14 children to a hospital every day
Research shows more than 5,000 children in the United States will fall from windows, and it has prompted Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus to warn parents and offer simple steps to protect families.
Nearly two years ago, after Beckett Curry’s fourth birthday, her parents say she fell from a second story bedroom window.
“I went and answered the door and it was our neighbor who had Beckett cradled in her arms,” father Andrew Curry said. “Beckett had a mouthful of dirt and had clearly scratched herself up and I didn’t know what happened.”
Neighbors witnessed the fall and alerted the parents. Beckett suffered a concussion and a fractured wrist, the parents said.
“We really lucked out,” Jennifer Curry said. “It’s miraculous to me that she wasn’t more seriously hurt.”
Nationwide Children’s Hospital studied window fall-related injuries. Researchers found approximately 14 children are treated in emergency rooms every day in the United States. Most of the injuries are caused by children climbing on furniture near the window.
“Take the steps before you need to because the worst case scenario is the last thing you want to deal with,” Andrew Curry said.
When it comes to window safety, experts say just remember the number four. Windows should not open any more than four inches to protect kids.
“On a single hung window or a sliding window or sliding window, you can install window stops,” safety expert Jan Berichon said.
Berichon showed off the products to better protect against window falls and how to easily bypass window stops and window guards in an emergency.
Casement windows, which you can crank wide open are a little trickier. If there are new windows being installed, ask the manufacturer to build the opening control right in. However, if it’s an older window, a window guard is the only option.
Berichon said it’s important to teach children about window safety. Additionally, parents should create a two-foot safety zone around windows, keeping furniture or anything a child could climb on, away.
Remember, kids are curious and information regarding window safety should be shared with anyone watching children. Homes where children will play should be checked for hazards.
“Don’t let children watch how you install the product or how you remove the product,” Berichon said.
The Curry’s said following safety steps could save a child’s life.
“It’s really fun to see her so capable and free and still fearless,” Jennifer Curry said. “We were really, really lucky.”