Injury Research and Policy Window Falls Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Window Falls

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Every year, over 5,100 children younger than 18 years of age are treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for injuries related to falls from windows. While most falls do not cause death, those that do usually occur from great heights or onto hard surfaces. Falls from windows cause more severe injuries and deaths than any other type of fall. Therefore, it is very important for parents to understand the risk of window falls and to take proper steps to help prevent them.

Prevention Tips

  • In homes with children, install window guards on all second-story or higher windows.
  • Use window stops to prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches.

Prevention Tips

  • Window screens are not designed to stop a child from falling. A normal window screen is NOT enough to keep children safe.
  • It is best to purchase window guards with a quick release mechanism. This will allow the window to be opened easily by an adult in the case of a fire emergency.
  • Install locks on sliding windows to prevent children from opening them.
  • Move all furniture away from windows. Children can climb on furniture to access windows that are otherwise out of reach.
  • Create soft landing surfaces such as bushes or plant beds under windows to help prevent serious injuries in case of a fall.  
  • Do not allow children to play on fire escapes, roofs or balconies.
  • Make sure that older children understand the dangers of climbing out of or jumping from windows.
  • Young children should never be left at home unsupervised.
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