Q: How do I prevent window falls when my child is in someone else's care?
Know how to prevent window falls when your child is in someone else’s care, such as a babysitter or daycare. The best thing you can do is to thoroughly check the location your child will be staying, look for hazards, and discuss your concerns with your child’s caretaker. If you are in doubt or believe there are dangers present, do not allow your child to stay there.
Checking for Window Fall Hazards
An average of 5,180 children were treated in emergency departments for window fall-related injuries from 1990 to 2008, according to a study published in Pediatrics in 2011. Window falls are real concern for parents, particularly if their child will be out of their care for a period.
When looking for safety hazards, you can use the following checkpoints.
- Is there furniture next to the window? Children may climb furniture and get closer to the window.
- Are there any open windows in your child’s reach? Whether or not the window has a screen is inconsequential. In the cases where screen status was known in the Pediatrics study, more than 80 percent reported a having a screen. Screens do not protect your child.
- Do the windows have window guards? If there are windows in your child’s reach, they should have rails on them.
- If the windows don’t have guards, do they have stops? These devices prevent the window from opening past a certain point.
- Is there soft plant material outside of the window? The severity of injury from window fall accidents is greatly dependent upon the type of surface on which the child lands. Soft ground and plants are best. Concrete and brick increase the risk of fracture and head injury.
- Will there be adequate supervision? The above safety measures are only effective to a degree. Learning how to prevent window falls comes down to ensuring proper supervision.
Speak to a Child Injury Attorney after an Accident
Knowing how to prevent window falls if your child is in another’s care may only go so far. If your child suffered injuries from falling out a window while in someone else’s care, a babysitter or daycare may be liable for injuries. Speak to an attorney to determine what type of legal action to take.
For assistance in the Peachtree City area, contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 for a free consultation.