Safety Expert Urges Caution With Children Around Open Windows

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Doctors at a Twin Cities hospital have recently treated two children who fell out of a window. Regions Hospital officials say in each incident, the children were under age 5.

When the weather warms up, it can be inviting to open the windows, but it can also be dangerous if there are small children nearby.

“The danger lies in the false sense of security that a screen is going to protect our little ones from falling out,” Shonette Doggett, injury prevention coordinator at Regions Hospital, said.

So far this season the hospital has seen two children who fell from a window.

“Kids are curious, they climb, they get close to a window, and they fall right through a screen,” Doggett said.

She suggests simple ways to prevent a fall from happening. Make sure children are supervised if there is an open window in a room.

“And even with that kids move fast. Keeping furniture away from windows, so the back of a couch that might be strategically placed up against windows, that becomes a climbing hazard where now kids are right at the level of the window or a bed pushed up to the window, we see where kids take a nap and might fall right off the bed, through a window,” Doggett said.

If you want to have the window open, experts suggest adding a window stop. That will prevent a child or anyone else from opening the window higher than where you locked it.

“So the window can’t open up wide enough for anything to fall out. Absolutely effective. Anything that’s going to limit that opening but still be able to be quickly released if you needed to escape in an emergency, that’s what’s key,” Doggett said.

The window locks run from about $2 to $5. There are also window guards that go across the whole window. They are more expensive, and run from $20 and up. Doggett suggests adding mulch and soft landscape outside second story window if there is a concern –, anything that could help break a fall.

More from Jennifer Mayerle
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