As summer temperatures rise outside, many parents open their windows or balcony doors to let in fresh air. Unfortunately, along with the fresh air comes a significant risk to children.
For a curious child, an open window or balcony door can pose the risk of a serious fall.
Every year, Alberta Health Services (AHS) EMS responds to multiple calls related to children injured after falling out of windows or off of balconies. In 2014, 20 Albertan children were seen in our Emergency Departments, due to these kinds of falls, and of those 20, 17 were less than seven years of age.
Always take these steps to prevent falls, and keep your children safe this summer season, and year round:
- Move furniture such as cribs, beds, stools, and change tables away from windows to prevent access to them.
- Install window guards on all windows on the second floor and above. These act like gates in front of windows.
- Consider installing safety devices which limit the distance in which a window can open. to 10cm (4 inch).
- Remember: screens are designed to keep bugs out, NOT to keep children in.
- Ensure that your balcony railings are not more than 10 cm (4 inch) apart. This will eliminate the possibility that your child will be able to fit between the vertical bars of a balcony or deck.
- Furniture and other items stored on balconies and decks can be used to climb, resulting in a fall over the railing
- Keep drapery cords out of children’s reach. Wrap excess cord around cleats, or tie-downs to avoid a choking hazard.
- Direct supervision of children is always the most effective way to prevent falls.
AHS EMS is proud to be a member of the Partners Promoting Window and Balcony Safety. Visit us at: www.windowsafety.ca to learn more.