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