Window Safety

Injury Prevention Window Safety CartoonWindows can be hazardous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports in 2018:

  • An estimated 3,300 children, ages five and younger are treated in emergency rooms for window fall-related injuries each year.
  • Falls from windows result in an average of about eight deaths annually to children five years or younger.
  • 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:

  • From 2012 to 2017, there have been 50 fatalities reported to CPSC that were related to window cord strangulation among infants and young children.
  • Nearly once per month, a child between 7 months and 10 years old dies from window cord strangulation and another child suffers a near strangulation.
  • 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.

A recent study published in Pediatrics emphasizes the danger posed by window blinds:

  • From 1990 to 2015, there were nearly 17,000 injuries related to window blinds among children younger than 6 years of age treated in emergency departments in the United States.
  • Almost 50% of those injured reported being struck by the window blind.
  • Entanglement injuries accounted for approximately 12% of all cases.
  • For children who suffered entanglement injuries, almost 99% involved blind chords and more than 80% were to the neck.
  • Most injuries - nearly 94% - were treated and related.

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.