Window & Balcony Safety

Provided by Alberta Health Services EMS; photo: fotolia.com

window safetyWith the return of warmer weather, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) would like to remind parents and caregivers of an often overlooked hazard in the home – open windows.

Every year, paramedics respond to emergencies where a child has fallen from an open window – often from the second floor. Falls such as these are preventable by taking time to assess your home and ensuring windows are safe.

Windows and screens

  • Move furniture such as cribs, beds, stools and change tables away from windows to prevent access to them;
  • Keep drapery cords out of children’s reach. Wrap excess cord around cleats or tie-downs to avoid a choking hazard;
  • Remember: screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in.

Balconies

  • Do not underestimate a child’s ability to climb. Furniture and other items stored on balconies and decks can be used to climb resulting in falls over the railing;
  • Consider installing a balcony guard to eliminate access between the vertical bars of a balcony, or deck.

Further prevention tips

  • Children aged one to four are at highest risk of falling from a window or balcony;
  • Direct supervision of children is the single most effective way to prevent falls from windows and balconies;
  • Consider installing safety devices which limit the distance in which a window be can open;
  • Ensure the safety device can be released quickly, so the window can be used for escape in case of fire, or other emergency.

EMS is proud to be a member of the Partners Promoting Window and Balcony Safety. Take time to assess your home for window and balcony hazards and eliminate the risks before a preventable fall occurs. For more information, visit windowsafety.ca