Window Safety

Injury Prevention Window Safety CartoonWindows can be hazardous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports:

  • More than 4,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for window fall-related injuries each year.
  • About a dozen children, 10 years old and younger die from their injuries each year.
  • Most of the deaths and injuries happen to children under the age of five.
  • Even a fall from a first-floor window can cause injury or death.
  • Children are more likely to die or be severely injured from window-related falls than falls associated with any other product.

The State of Home Safety in America (2002) revealed that injuries associated with windows caused more than 110,000 emergency room visits in a single year.

Window covering pull cords also pose a danger. The CPSC has received reports that:

  • There have been 194 deaths due to these cords since 1981.
  • More than 169 strangulation deaths have been tracked since 1991.
  • Many of the victims are children under five.
  • Victims who were 10 to 15 months old typically became entangled while in their cribs, which were placed near window covering pull cords.
  • Older child victims frequently became entangled when climbing on furniture to look out of a window.

Safety Tips

  • Keep windows locked when they are closed.
  • Never let children open windows by themselves.
  • If you must open windows, open them from the top.
  • Prevent windows from opening more than four inches by installing window guards or window stops. Use our safety circle to check the window opening.
  • In windows on the 6th floor and below, install window guards that can easily be removed by adults and older children in the event of a fire.
  • Beware! Window screens may give you a false sense of security. They do not prevent falls.
  • Teach your children not to lean out of or play near open windows.
  • Don’t place furniture children may climb on near windows.
  • Consider installing grass, shrubs or mulch under windows. They may help cushion a fall.
  • Keep window covering pull cords out of the reach of children. Keep them up, out of the way, with a clamp or clothespin, cleat or tie-down device.
  • Cords should not be doubled or form a loop. Each cord should have its own tassel.
  • Replacement safety tassels are available free of charge at window covering retailers. Contact the Window Covering Safety Council at (800) 506-4636 for details.