Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kids Can't Fly

Beyond the door
There's peace I'm sure.
And I know there'll be no more...
Tears in heaven
- Eric Clapton lyrics
A few years back a family friend bought a two-story home in the country. Within days of moving in the youngest child leaned against a window screen and fell from the top story. Fortunately she was not injured by the fall.

In cities with tall buildings, windows falls can be fatal. Today's quote is from the song, "Tears in Heaven", written by Eric Clapton over the grief of losing his 4-yr-old son from 53-story window fall at a friend's apartment. According to Time, over 5,200 children each year fall out of windows and end up in the emergency room. Some big cities like New York have window guard regulations; horizontal bars that cover the bottom half of a window to form a barrier that prevents kids from crawling out. In NYC the window guard program is called, "Children Can't Fly"; Boston has a similar program called "Kids Can't Fly" in an attempt to increase public awareness of easy safety measures.

Bottom Line

A simple window safety measure is a window stop; e.g a bar or piece of wood that prevents the window from opening completely. (A window stop is also a good theft deterrence to keep criminals from climbing in.) Other safety measures include keeping dressers, beds and other climbable furniture away from windows. In warm weather when windows are open, pay close attention to children under 5 who are the most likely to tumble from windows. And as my friend learned, screens won't prevent a fall in most cases.

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