Toddler falls to death through screen window
The headline we don’t want to write
There’s an unforgiving aspect to the news cycle - preventable, season-related accidents are a reliable source of news. As the warm weather arrives and windows open, we brace ourselves for what seems to be an annual story-toddlers (and pets) who fall through screen windows. Each year, thousands of children are injured or killed due to falls out of windows.
Some tips from www.totsafe.com and Dr. Alett Mekler at the Animal Rescue League of Boston are below. Please take a moment to review them to help keep your child, both the human and non-human variety, off of our front page.
To keep your children safe during warm weather:
Windows (even first floor windows) pose a falling hazard to children. Children should not have access to open windows; windows that can be opened more than 4" are hazardous. Use childproofing window guards or window locks on all windows that may be opened.
Keep all windows closed and locked at all times and remove window crank handles from casement windows to help prevent children from opening them. If you use a window fan or air conditioning unit, block access using a baby safety gate.
Window Blinds: Cords from window blinds should be kept out of children’s reach. Although we prefer to see parents remove window blinds with cords from the home because they are a strangulation risk to children, they can easily be secured out of reach if removal is not possible. NEVER PLACE A CHILD’S CRIB OR BED NEAR THE WINDOW OR WINDOW BLINDS.
Special window locks can also be used to help secure windows from being opened.
To keep your pets safe during warm weather, consider taking the following precautions:
To protect your pets, install snug and sturdy screens in all your windows.
If you have adjustable screens, please make sure that they are tightly wedged into window frames.
Cats can slip through childproof window guards-these don’t provide adequate protection!
Keep cats indoors to protect them from additional dangers such as cars, other animals and disease. Cats can be given outdoor stimulation with full-screen enclosures for backyards and terraces if possible.
When pets fall from high-rise buildings, they may end up on sidewalks or streets that are dangerous and unfamiliar to them. Don’t assume that the animal has not survived the fall; immediately locate the animal and rush it to the nearest animal hospital.
Dogs that are fearful of fireworks and thunderstorms should be treated for their anxiety, and securely housed when left alone. Screens and even window panes are no barrier to panicked pets.
Dr. Alett Mekler is a veterinarian at Boston Veterinary Care at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. If you would like to make an appointment at Boston Veterinary Care - a full-service veterinary practice that is open to the public - please call 617-226-5605 or visit our website at www.arlboston.org/bvc.