Trauma experts urge parents to use precaution around windows
The potential for a fatal brain injury clearly exists. Injuries sustained include:
- fractures of the spine, limbs and skull.
- tendon/nerve/artery laceration of wrists.
- a varying severity of brain injuries.
Screens are flimsily made; they are a weak barrier and give a false sense of security. They are great for keeping insects out but are not strong enough to keep children in.
Follow these recommendations to prevent falls from windows:
- Use window guards, which create a protective barrier, or window stops that limit the amount the window can open. Windows should not be able to open more than 10 cm (4 inches). These devices are available at hardware stores.
- Do not put furniture in front of the window. Young children are most at risk, as they are curious and can easily climb onto the furniture and have access to the window.
- Check to see if there is a municipal window safety by-law. If so, tenants living in an apartment should make sure that the landlord places window guards or stops. New homeowners should make sure that the contractor places window guards or stops.
- Supervise your baby and young child at all times.
- Securely tie-up blind and drapery cords or cut them so they are out of the reach of children.
- Never leave loops hanging.
- Do not place cribs, dressers and other pieces of furniture near windows to prevent your child from climbing and getting tangled in blind cords that are left hanging.
Screens are good at keeping insects out, but not at keeping kids in!
Toddler in hospital after three-storey fall in downtown Montreal
Reviewed by Trauma specialists at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.