Hospital finds window falls injure an average of 14 kids per day

Columbus, OH – Approximately 5,200 children per year sought emergency treatment for a window fall between 1990 and 2008 – an average of 14 children per day, according to research released Aug. 22 by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Children younger than 5 made up 65 percent of those injured, and their injuries tended to be more severe, a study abstract said. Overall, injuries often affected the child’s head and face; the most common injuries were soft tissue injuries and brain or head injuries.

To reduce the risk of window falls, CIRP recommends:

  • Install guards on all windows on the second story or higher.
  • Remember that screens will not prevent a child from falling out of a window.
  • If windows are open, use stops to prevent them from opening more than 4 inches.
  • Move furniture away from windows.
  • Educate older children on the dangers of climbing or jumping out of windows.
  • Consider planting bushes or flower beds under windows to soften the landing surface in the event of a fall.

The study is scheduled to be published in the September issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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