A recent study found that approximately 5,000 children are injured annually from falling out of windows and that younger children are at greater risk of window falls, report news sources.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Researchers found that between 1990 and 2008 hospital emergency rooms treated 98,415 children who had suffered a window fall; that figure averages to 5,180 patients annually. Falls from windows in cars, tree houses and homes under construction were not included in the sample. Also not included were falls through windows or falls from windowsills because in the majority of those cases the child fell back into the room. The patients in the data set were divided into two age-based groups: the first group, 0- to 4-years-old, was the higher risk group (64.8 percent of injuries); the second group was ages 5 to 17.
The average age of an injured child in the study was 5.1-years-old, and boys suffered more injuries than girls. Study authors also found that 62.7 percent of injury cases were two-story falls and that overall injury rates went up during summer. Children in the 0 to 4 years of age category were more likely to suffer face or head injuries than their older counterparts, making the younger group 1.65 times more likely to die or be hospitalized. Among all children represented in the study, when the nature of the injury was known, 48.6 percent of the injuries were head or face related.
Because a higher risk of death or hospitalization was linked to falls on to hard surfaces, researchers suggested planting shrubs or plant beds under windows to help cushion falls. The study authors also recommended that parents and caregivers employ window guards or window locks that restrict a window’s opening capacity to four inches.
As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage parents and other caregivers to take steps to keep children safe by securing windows and keeping an eye on children.