Two years ago in Snoqualmie, in just a six-week time period, two children fell out of second story windows, with one ending up in the hospital in critical condition. Now the Snoqualmie Fire Department is on a mission to help stop these 100% preventable accidents.
This year, the Snoqualmie Fire Department, in partnership with Safe Kids Washington and the Central Region EMS & Trauma Care Council, has kicked off a child safety program focusing on pediatric window falls and will be giving local families free protective window guards.
Annually, during the warm summer months, Harborview Medical Center sees a spike in pediatric patients (average 150 per year) needing treatment for a fall from a window above the first story. Many of these children, most 2 – 5 years old, experience life-threatening injuries that require a long recovery – or even worse.
As part of the partnership, the Snoqualmie Fire Department will be providing a FREE set of KidCo Window Stops. SFD says the window stops aren’t meant to be a sole source of protection, but they are a start.
Every year, the Snoqualmie Fire Department says it responds to two or three child window falls. With the community’s help, the feel they can drop that number to zero.
Child safety experts say homes with second and third story windows can pose a fall-risk hazard for young children, with window screens not being designed to withstand the weight of a child.
The Snoqualmie Fire Department says to protect children, make sure windows can’t be opened more than four inches. Newer homes may have built-in limiters; however, for most windows, a window stop or window guard should be installed.
The free window stops will be available during normal business hours (while supplies last) in the Snoqualmie Fire Station front office, 37600 SE Snoqualmie Pkwy.
For more information, call (425) 888-1551, or email Lieutenant Jake Fouts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Window guards/stops can also be purchased at Target, Amazon, Babies R’Us and various other local retailers.
Windows Safety tips:
- Keep furniture and anything a child can climb on away from windows.
- Only allow windows to open four inches or less and install window stops or guards to keep children from opening them further. (Be sure an adult can open them in an emergency.)
- Teach your children to play a safe distance from any window and remind them that, “Screens keep bugs out; they do not keep kids in”
- Remember windows also serve as an emergency escape. Be sure windows can open without special knowledge or tools.
- When buying new windows, ask for ones with built-in 4-inch limiters.