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Help prevent window falls


August 29, 2013

In the past week, three children who had fallen from second story windows visited the Emergency Department at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Two were discharged home with minor injuries while one was transferred for a higher level of care.

A reminder to parents, grandparents, daycare providers and caregivers – screens are designed to keep bugs out, not kids in.

Fall-prevention tips from Safe Kids Snohomish County and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett:

Move furniture away from windows and balconies. A bed, couch and other furniture allow a child to get higher and closer to a window.

Only open windows outside of a child’s reach or climbing distance. Open double-hung windows from the top. A child can fall from a window opened as little as 5 inches.

Every year, many children fall out of open windows with window screens. Window screens will not keep your child from falling.

If you must open a window within a child’s reach or climbing distance, install an operable window guard. Window guards have horizontal bars no more than four inches apart that screw into the side of a window frame and are available in different sizes.

For windows that can’t be used for fire escape, install stops that keep a window from opening wider than 4 inches. These can be purchased at a hardware store for about $2.

Plant grass or shrubbery around your home to soften the impact surface in case of a fall.

Monitor window safety at your child care location and anywhere children visit.

Active supervision is key to your child’s safety. Never leave a child unattended near an open window.


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