WASHINGTON – Now that warmer weather has finally come to the Washington area, many are opening up windows and letting the breeze in for the first time this year. But anyone with small children around needs to kid-proof first.
Each year, 5,200 American kids fall out a window and land in an emergency room, according to the Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue. Children under the age of 5 are the ones most at risk, and fire officials say it’s not just families that live in apartment buildings.
The fire department says any home with a second-story window is a cause for concern.
The Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue offers the following safety tips:
Keep windows locked when not in use.
Never let children open windows by themselves.
Teach children to never lean out a window or lean on a window screen.
Whenever possible, open windows from the top.
Install window guards or window stop devices that prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches (but make sure adults and older children know how to remove them quickly in the event of an emergency evacuation)
Keep climbable furniture – like beds, dressers and toy chests — away from windows.
Don’t place toys or other inviting objects on window sills.
Always provide adult supervision for children around open windows.
The fire department also points out that windows play a vital role in fire safety. They say never paint or nail a window shut, and any security bars should have a quick release device.