Window screens don’t stop kids from falling out

BC Children’s Hospital and the BC Ambulance Service strongly urge parents and caregivers to install proper safety latches on windows.

  • Aug. 17, 2012 4:00 p.m.

With reports of toddlers falling out of windows during the past few weeks, BC Children’s Hospital and the BC Ambulance Service strongly urge parents and caregivers to install proper safety latches on windows.

In two of the most recent cases, the children fell through window screens. These screens are not strong enough to withstand the weight of a child pushing against them and should never be relied on as a safety measure. Toddlers are at greatest risk because they are mobile, naturally curious and unaware of the danger.

BC Children’s Hospital and the BC Ambulance Service offer the following tips to keep your children safe during the warm weather.

• Move household furniture — especially cribs and beds — away from windows to discourage children from climbing to peer out.

• Install window guards on windows higher than the ground level. You should not be able to open upper level windows more than 10 centimetres (four inches). Children can fit through spaces as small as 12 centimetres (five inches) wide. Ensure there is a release  in case fire.

• Don’t underestimate a child’s mobility; children begin climbing before they can walk. If you have children in the home, make sure to install window guards as early as possible.

• Don’t leave children unattended on balconies or decks. Move furniture or planters away from the edges as kids can climb up and over them.

• Talk to your children — in an age appropriate manner – about the dangers of opening and playing near windows, particularly on upper floors of the home.

• Remember, nothing is better than ongoing supervision. Don’t leave a young child unattended or rely on a safety item to keep them safe.

BC Children’s Hospital reports that at least 10 children have been taken to hospital as a result of falling out of windows this year.

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