Monday, August 22nd, 2011
A new report from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio has found that more than 5,000 American children are injured by falling from windows each year, The Associated Press reports.
Many fall from first- or second-story windows, the AP says:
“Two-thirds of these injuries occurred among children younger than 5. This is the age group that’s mobile, curious and does not recognize the danger of falling from a window,” [senior author Gary] Smith said.
The study, appearing Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first nationally representative study of such injuries. Researchers analyzed data from emergency departments from 1990 through 2008. An estimated 98,415 children were hurt during that time.
Fewer than 1 percent of the cases led to deaths, but the researchers said the tally likely underestimated fatalities because not all children who die from their injuries are brought to the hospital.
Summer months, when windows are left open, saw the highest number of injuries. One- and two-story falls made up 94 percent of the cases where the height of the fall was recorded.
Parents are urged to install window guards, which are bars that allow windows to open but prevent children from climbing out. The guards cost $20 to $40 per window. Parents should also move furniture or climb-able objects away from windows to prevent children from being tempted to explore near an open window. Researchers also recommend opening windows from the top, if possible.