Did you know that Eric Clapton wrote “Tears in Heaven” after his son, Connor, fell out of a window to his death in 1991? The 4-year-old boy fell from a window on the 53rd floor of a Manhattan apartment building that had been inadvertently left open by janitorial staff.
This week (April 4-10) is National Window Safety Week. Windows can offer access to sunlight and help circulate fresh air in your home, but they can also potentially pose serious safety hazards. The two most common causes of injuries related to windows are falls and strangulation caused by the looped cords on draperies, blinds and shades.
Most of these accidents, as was the case for Clapton’s son, affect young children, and occur when parents don’t realize that safety hazards of any kind are present. With this in mind, consider the following guidance to help keep your children safe whenever they’re near windows.
- Install window guards on upper floors in your home to prevent children from falling.
- Move furniture away from windows so they are not tempted to climb on it and open the windows.
- If you do decide to keep windows open, make sure children are never left unattended.
Mitigating Strangulation Hazards
- Do not place your child’s bed or crib next to or within arm’s reach of a window.
- If your child can crawl or walk, don’t place chairs, couches or bookcases near windows.
- Remove the loops on cords by cutting the cord above the tassel, removing the equalizer buckle if there is one, and then adding a new tassel to the cords that have been created.
- Childproof vertical blinds by installing a tie-down to the floor, wall, or window jamb so the cord is pulled tight and cannot be removed.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to childproof the windows within your home. The easiest way to prevent accidents around windows is to eliminate hazards before children get curious. Be sure to routinely evaluate your home for window-related hazards and make adjustments as needed. Further, make sure all the windows in your home are installed and repaired by a qualified professional, and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.