Protective parents take note — it’s not just staircases, electrical outlets and sharp edges in your home you need to keep your kids away from. Over 5,000 children each year fall out of windows and end up in the emergency room.
Time cites new research that shows 5,200 kids per year end up needing medical attention from falls from windows. Or, 14 kids a day, says a study published by the journal Pediatrics.
“These are serious injuries and they’re still common despite the fact that we have seen a decline,” says Gary Smith, the paper’s senior author and director of the Center for Injury, Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Around 25% of window-related child injuries require care at a hospital. Many such tumbles can be deadly. As such, big cities like New York have window guard regulations, and there are programs like “Children Can’t Fly” there and “Kids Can’t Fly” in Boston to urge public awareness of easy safety measures.
Installing window stops to keep them from only opening a little, keeping dressers, beds and other climbable furniture away from windows, and paying more attention in warm weather when windows are open are all good tips, no matter where you live. Screens won’t prevent a fall, either, in most cases.
“We need to take the model [New York and Boston] used and implement that across the country,” says Smith. “It’s a problem occurring not just in major metropolitan areas. Any home that has a second-floor window is a potential risk to a child.”