Katie Gorodetsky, Immunization Coordinator for WIC
As warmer weather arrives and windows are opened to let the breeze in, we should all remember that screens are designed to keep bugs out and not children in. The leading cause of injury to children age 5 and under is falls and falls out of windows are especially serious. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers can prevent window falls by following several safety tips: keep all furniture including beds or couches away from windows, open windows from the top, not the bottom, lock all unopened windows and doors, supervise young children at all times, and install child safety window guards! Child safety window guards are aluminum or steel bars with a maximum four-inch spacing that are installed in the bottom half of a double hung window. Guards are designed to withstand 150 pounds of pressure and can be purchased at a local hardware or home improvement store. Regular screens will not support the weight of a falling child. Window guard installation is recommended for all windows above the first floor. Practice these safety techniques and minimize the risk of injury to your child. For more information, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Injury Prevention and Control Program at www.mass.gov/dph/injury.