INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Each year 3,300 children under the age of five fall from windows. Not too long ago, Becca Cunningham’s three-year-old son was one of them. He suffered serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury, but Cunningham says he was lucky and made a full recovery.
Now she has turned her focus to educating parents about window falls and how to prevent them with the ‘Stop at 4’ Campaign. A window open four inches or less is safe for a child, but some children can figure out how to open a window further.
It’s important to remember that a normal window screen will not protect a child from a fall and most of the items found at hardware stores are designed to keep intruders out, but not really keep kids inside. Cunningham says parents should invest in either window stops or window guards.
“A window stop keeps it from coming up more than four inches, those are $9 for a package of two, you only need one per window. They’re not expensive and very easy to install… A window guard can cover the entire opening, so that’s good if you do want to open your window all the way and get that air flow,” Cunningham said.
Safety experts say you only need to add protective guards or stops on windows more than six feet above the ground outside.
Cunningham’s son fell during nap-time. He had gotten out of bed and was playing with the blinds. A child’s bedroom is the most common place for a fall to happen, so check where furniture is placed. Don’t position your child’s bed, dresser, any chairs, even a laundry basket against or under a window.