While open windows and doors can increase airflow and cut down on cooling costs, they also can be dangerous for children who are not properly supervised.According to a 2011 study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, window falls injure more than 5,000 children every year, with the majority of falls occurring from two-story windows.In order to reduce this number, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) encourages households to practice year-round window safety.
The beginning of the school year is an effective time to both survey the possible dangers in the home as well as to educate children and other family members about the dangers of open windows and the importance of accident prevention.
“While Window Safety Week is held every year during the first week of April, education on window safety should be an ongoing effort and occur throughout the year,” says Rich Walker, AAMA's president and CEO. “AAMA is proud to partner with the National Safety Council (NSC) and other industry organizations, as a part of the Window Safety Task Force, to provide education that will keep families safer and aid in the prevention of accidental falls from windows and related injuries year round.”
The NSC’s Window Safety Task Force offers these tips to protect children from window falls:
* Avoid the placement of furniture near windows to prevent children from climbing.
* Do not rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall.
* Keep children’s play away from open windows and doors.
* Install building code-compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards with release mechanisms to help prevent a fall.
* Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency.
To help teach children about window safety, an activity book is available on the task force's website, as well as additional information for parents and caregivers. To learn more about window safety, visit the Window Safety and Fall Prevention webpage on the AAMA website.