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4/8/2013

Warm weather brings open windows; keep children safe

Contact

Anne Johnston, Public Health
Phone: (360) 397-8000 ext. 7337
anne.johnston@clark.wa.gov

Vancouver, WA— As warmer days arrive, it’s tempting to open windows and let in the fresh air. Unfortunately, open windows can pose a risk to young children. More than 3,000 fall from windows in the United States each year.

While 70% of window falls occur from second or third stories, even falls from first-floor windows can pose safety risks. You can reduce the risk by using some simple safety measures. In Clark County, one family is urging others to take steps to prevent falls like the one that severely injured their son, who survived the ordeal after a hospital stay.

To learn more about the experience or to interview the parents, contact Anne Johnston at Clark County Public Health.

Most falls occur between May and September. They can cause traumatic injury and sometimes death. To observe National Window Fall Safety Week (April 7-13), the Safe Kids Coalition of Clark County is recommending these safety tips:

• Keep windows locked and closed unless opened intentionally.
• Keep furniture and other objects away from windows where children can climb.
• Teach children about window safety. Have them play a safe distance away and use tape to mark off unsafe areas where possible.
• Install a window stop to prevent windows from opening more than four inches. Be sure an adult can open the window in an emergency.
• Install window guards that adults can remove in an emergency where windows are open more than four inches.
• When buying new windows, ask for built-in safety hardware.
• Share this information with grandparents, child care providers, friends, and neighbors.

Additional information: http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/safety-spotlight/national-window-safety-week/.

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