Children’s health, window experts, remind of dangers of open windows for kids

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – When you think about accidents involving children, you may think of vehicle restraints or sports injuries, but how often do you stop to think about windows? Abbey Pettiford, Community relations prevention coordinator for Safe Kids Greater Dayton, said it may be a topic worth revisiting.

“Here at Dayton Children’s last year we had about 20 kiddos fall out of windows, and this year so far we’ve already had four,” she said.

The first full week of April is Window Safety Week, which aligns with the time families typically start opening windows to let in some spring air. It’s also the perfect opportunity to talk about safety with kids in your home.

“I think you can start having that conversation as early as possible,” said Pettiford. “I mean, you can tell a two year old, “No, don’t go near the window,” and obviously they need to be supervised, but you can start that conversation as early as possible.”

She said there are some proactive measures parents can take as well, starting with keeping kids away from window screens, which, Nicole Picray, brand communications manager for Pella Windows and Doors said are meant to “keep bugs out, not kids in.” But Pettiford said that’s just one of many practices parents can take to keep kids safe.

“If you open up the windows, go ahead and do that…from the top, as well as use those window guards or stops. The other thing is don’t put furniture or chairs or anything that kids can climb on near the windows.”

Picray said another proactive measure parents can consider, “is assessing for trip and fall. So areas like bathrooms where it can be slippery or areas like stairwells where someone could trip. If there is a window that they could have impact with and potentially fall out of, there are measures that can be taken upon, especially window replacement, that will help ensure you have tempered glass and the proper safety mechanisms and measures in place to prevent actually falling out of the window.”

But if for any reason a child does fall out of a window, whether onto grass or the pavement, Pettiford said, “we recommend you call 911 right away and not move that child because the injuries can be pretty serious.”

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