A study published this month in the journal Pediatrics reports that almost 100,000 children were injured from falls from windows between 1990 and 2008. Almost 5,000 children are injured every year from falling out of windows.
The study was based on data collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The data was collected from emergency rooms at hospitals around the country.
Surprisingly, 94% of the falls were from first and second story windows. Parents are not fully aware of this risk because they associate window falls with high, multi-story apartment buildings.
Boys were more likely than to fall from a window than girls. Two-thirds of the children who fell were toddlers, with the average age of an injured child being 5.1-years-old. Injury rates went up during the summer, when windows are more likely to be open due to hot weather.
Parents can lesson the chance of injury from a fall by moving furniture away from windows, so young children cannot crawl on top. Parents can also plant shrubs under windows to cushion a fall. Additionally, parents can install window guards or stops that restrict a window's opening capacity to four inches.
Parents should not rely on window screens to prevent a fall. Window screens are not designed to stop a child from falling. "Screens just pop right out, and that's not enough to keep a child in,'' said Dr. Gary Smith of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney
The lawyers at McGee, Lerer and Associates are experienced in handling child injury cases. Call our office for a free consultation if your child has been the victim of a serious injury. Our personal injury attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call.