Most people are aware of the dangers of open windows and kids, but did you know that more than 5,000 kids fall out of windows every year?
Just last month, I reported on a story of a woman falling out a window after her child, who fell out the open window of their apartment.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is warning about just how dangerous open windows can be, hoping to better educate parents on how to make their home safer.
A new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State University analyzes the emergency room data from almost 4,000 children who were involved in injuries from falling out of windows between 1990 and 2008. The number of injuries was estimated for U.S. emergency rooms, finding that that 5,100 kids a year were involved in these accidents.
Study co-author Gary Smith noted that “The best parent in the world can’t watch their children 100 percent of the time. Children want to check things out, and they don’t know that an open window is a danger that has very severe consequences.”
There was some decrease in injury rates in kids under five during the first few years of the study, with the number leveling off beginning in 2000, but by 2008, kids with injuries related to falling out of windows accounted for around two-thirds of emergency room visits.
Smith explained higher numbers for head injuries in younger kids: “When children lean out… they topple forward and they land head first.”
Of course, there are likely more children who were injured during the study years that did not visit emergency rooms.
There was no data on the number of kids who died from window-related accidents.
The study is an eye opening opportunity to spread the word about window guards and window stops as child proofing precautions.
Other sound practices include moving furniture away from windows and having something soft under windows to cushion a fall.