April 1 – 7 is National Window Safety Week — an annual reminder to parents and caregivers about how to help prevent accidental window falls or injuries and how to use windows for potential emergency escapes. Pella Windows and Doors is working with the National Safety Council (NSC) to promote year-round window safety tips.

“As you open windows to let in fresh air, keep window safety in mind,” says Kathy Krafka Harkema, Pella spokesperson and a NSC Window Safety task force member. “For safety’s sake supervise children at play, and teach them to keep their play safely away from windows and doors.”

About 5,200 children in the United States are taken to hospitals each year for treatment from a window fall, according to a study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. That’s an average of about 14 children per day. Children younger than 5 made up 65 percent of those injured.

Window Safety Tips:

• Keep furniture such as beds or dressers away from windows. Furniture placed directly under a window can create an enticement for a child to climb and the potential to fall.

• Keep children’s play safely away from doors, windows and balconies to help prevent an accidental fall or injury.

• Remember, insect screens are designed to provide ventilation and to keep insects out, not to prevent falls. For added safety in children’s bedrooms, consider installing window guards or window fall prevention devices that meet American Society for Testing and Materials standards.

• Window treatments with traditional cords can contribute to childhood injuries. For added protection, choose blinds and shades with no room-side cords.

• Plant soft shrubs, such as boxwood, under exterior windows that might be used as an emergency escape route to help soften a fall.

• While spring cleaning, do a “clutter sweep” and remove tripping hazards near exit routes from doors, windows or balconies.

• Do not allow children to jump on beds or other furniture, especially near windows.

• Talk to older children about the dangers of playing near windows.

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