During the summer and a warmer climate open windows should be made safe to prevent young children falling out.
Bewteen 2 and 3 years old is the most vulnerable age for children's injuries sustained by falling from windows. In fact, falls are the most widespread accidents amongst children. 60% are below the age of 5 and almost as many are boys. Most severe accidents are associated with falling from windows, balconies and stairs, particularly where they land on concrete paths and stone surfaces.
Children can also cut themselves climbing through windows, particulary in derelict buildings, as seen in the “Stranger Dangers” picturebook as an example.
Falls often occur when a child leans out of an open window, often caused by a natural curiosity. It is recommended that no more than five inches space should be left open because that's about the width an average 10 month old could fall through.
As a precaution always apply these rules:
- Install a device to prevent the window from opening more than 10 centimetres/4 inches. A simple screw in the window frame can do this.
- Buy a window guard. This is a barrier, fitted internally in front of a window, specifically to protect children under the age of five from falling out.
- Keep your windows closed and locked if possible.
- Move any furniture or objects away from the window that could be used by a small child to climb on.