Screens are not meant to keep children from falling out of windows - for real protection, parents should install window guards, keep a close eye on their children, and remove furniture away from second-story windows. Learn more tips on how to prevent child falls in Washington State in this article.

Kid Safety: Screens Don’t Protect Your Children From Window Falls

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year in the United States about a dozen children are killed in falls from windows and an estimated 4,000 more are injured in such falls. These accidents are all too common in Washington State: this month in Lake Stevens, a three-year-old fell from a second story window, suffering serious injuries. In March, a Marysville girl also fell from a window after a screen failed. In February, a Kent boy fell from an open window to a driveway below.

Especially as warmer weather approaches, the number of children falling from windows in the Tacoma area rises, with most accidents taking place between May and October. In fact, National Window Safety Week is the first week of April – when most people begin to open their windows in milder weather.

How can you protect your children from potentially harmful window falls?

•    Realize window screens are not there to protect children from falls. Window screens are meant to keep out insects and debris, not keep children from falling. Screens cannot hold a significant amount of weight and are not designed to stop objects from falling out of windows.
•    Install window guards into upstairs windows. These guards can be purchased at hardware stores and protect your children from toppling out of open windows.
•    Install window stops. These stops prevent anyone from opening your windows more than four inches.
•    If possible, open your windows from the top, not the bottom. Children are much less likely to fall out of the top of a tall window.
•    Do not put furniture in front of windows. Avoid putting cribs, chairs, dressers, and other furniture next to a window where a child could climb to a window’s height.
•    Keep windows locked and closed when you are not in the room. Never leave a child unattended near an open window.