Injuries to children and teens caused by falls from windows have gone down four percent in the last 19 years. Even though the numbers are going down, falls from windows still injure 5,000 kids every year in the U.S., or 14 every day. According to a recent study published in Pediatrics and discussed by CBS News, public safety advocates, and parents, see these numbers as still much too high.
According to the study, 98,415 children were injured between 1990 and 2008. Children below the age of five were more likely to suffer head injuries. Children around pre-school age tend to be at most risk for injury from falling out of windows because they are highly mobile without understanding everyday hazards.
The study found that less than one percent of the total number of children brought to emergency rooms with injuries from window falls died. These numbers, however, may not reflect the actual number of fatalities from window falls because children who died from falling out a window may not have been brought to an emergency room.
Public awareness of this danger for kids has contributed to the reduction and child safety advocates are trying to continue to get the word out. Certain things can be done to prevent falls in your own home and to lessen the impact if a child does fall from a window. For example, newer windows can be opened from the top, and keeping furniture away from windows can keep kids from crawling up and out of windows.
Bushes or shrubs planted below windows can soften the fall of a child or teen. Another way to prevent falls is to install window guards, which can keep a child from falling out while still allowing the window to be open. The window guards should also have a quick release in case of an emergency situation.
Source: CBS News, “Falls from windows injure 5,000 kids each year: Study,” Ryan Jaslow, Aug. 22, 2011