Here in New York, we’re finally getting a long-awaited taste of spring,but before you open your windows to let the breeze in, consider this: approximately 4,700 children annually in the United States require treatment following a fall from a window, according to the American Society for Testing and Materials. What’s worse: About 18 children per year die from such falls.
So, as part of National Window Awareness Week (April 7th-13th), Anderson Windows’ LookOut For Kids window safety program is offering materials and tips to help keep our kids safe. Some of the most critical guidelines:
• Position beds and other furniture away from windows
• Never leave young children unsupervised
• Do not depend on insect screens to keep children from falling out of windows
• Don’t paint, nail or seal windows shut. They can provide an escape in an emergency
• Consider installing window guards (metal bars that deter kids from falling through an open window) or window opening control devices, which limits the amount a window can open
Who knew that window falls were so common? Thankfully, these small steps can assure us all a safe, happy spring.
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I was doing the usual “running” that I do yesterday—and by running I don’t mean putting on my Lululemons and jogging around the park! I mean running around like a wild thing to get everyone ready in the morning. Running to work, running to the subway, running to pick the kids up, running to make dinner. And then some more running until I finally collapse, flip open my laptop, and start tackling my inbox once the kids are tucked into bed.
As I was on my daily “run,” I suddenly noticed that instead of seeing the kids all huddled up in their stroller sleeping bags under a thousand layers of clothing (I tend to overdress them) and me wishing I had remembered my gloves, they had stripped down to their T-shirts during the school day, I had slipped on a pair of sunglasses, and there were even a few hours of daylight left to be enjoyed! Somehow spring had sprung upon us, and, in all the rushing around I had been doing lately, I hadn’t really noticed yet. It made me think: While having a schedule is important, would it really matter in the long run if today we didn’t rush home for dinner, baths, and stories? What if we skipped the normal routine and instead went on a park adventure, ate jumbo pretzels and ice cream for dinner, and then collapsed into bed together once the sun finally sets?
I believe in structure, and I often find myself obeying a rigid schedule with the kids. Many children find comfort and consistency in such things, as do we. But just as much as we need to change it up every now and then, so do our children. And the look of surprise and excitement on their faces when I tell them we can do something totally out of the ordinary warms the cockles of my heart. So when you find yourself enjoying the moment and appreciating the slightly warmer and longer days, really soak it up and make it last. Abandon the schedule, and make room for the moment. After all, we do want to teach our children about balance. Just because our lives sometimes seem all about the “running,” it doesn’t mean theirs have to be, too.
Whether it is playing in the rain instead of taking a bath, going on a park scavenger hunt during your usual story time, or deciding to have a picnic dinner on the carpet to shake things up, just do it! It’s these mini-rebellions to your carefully planned schedule and everyday routines that help teach our little ones (and us) about finding that delicate work-life balance for which we all so longingly strive.
After a long, hard winter, today is officially the first full day of spring. A fact you may have missed if you were in NYC this morning, where we were greeted with a rain-snow mix for a short time. Oh, Mother Nature! In any case, we’re honoring the changing of the seasons and the warmer weather to come (fingers crossed) with a Parents poll. We want to know where’s the best place to spread out a blanket and open up a picnic basket with your little one for the first time. Cast your vote below.