Pediatric Injuries Linked to Window Falls
A recent study tracked the epidemiological characteristics of pediatric falls from windows.
About the Pediatric Window Fall Study
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the study used the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) to gather emergency department (ED) data with the goal of determining how many pediatric injury cases were associated with window falls from 1990-2008.
Details of the study are as follows:
- About 98,415 children were treated in US hospital EDs for window fall-related injuries over the 19-year study period.
- Boys accounted for 58.1% of injury cases.
- One-fourth of the patients required admission to hospital.
- Children 0 to 4 years of age were more likely to sustain head injuries and to be hospitalized or die than children aged 5-17.
- Children who landed on hard surfaces were more likely to sustain head injuries.
The study concluded that window fall-related injuries are an important pediatric public health problem and increased prevention efforts are needed.
Risk Factors, Safety Tips, and Window Regulations
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children between ages 0 and 19.
- In 2010, 127 children died from a fall.
- 2.8 million children visited emergency departments for fall-related injuries in 2010.
- 40% were toddlers.
- Keep windows closed and locked when children are around.
- Install locks on sliding windows to prevent children from opening them.
- Install window guards on all second-story or higher windows.
- Only open windows children cannot reach.
- Keep furniture, or anything children can climb, away from windows.
- Don't rely on insect screens to prevent a fall.
- They are designed to provide ventilation and not to prevent a child's fall from a window.
- Make sure nothing is preventing a window from being opened in the case of an emergency.
- Create soft landing surfaces under windows to help prevent serious injuries in case of a fall.
- Use window stops to prevent windows from opening more than 4 inches.