Calls Attention to the Danger of Open Windows to Children
BOSTON – Recognizing that open windows in hot summer months pose a serious safety risk to children, Governor Patrick proclaimed August 2012 Window Safety Month in the Commonwealth. “I urge residents to take the necessary steps to secure windows throughout the year to protect the safety and well-being of our children,” said Governor Patrick. According to the proclamation, “over 5,000 children nationwide are treated annually for falls from windows that are not adequately screened or equipped with safety latches.”
Boston Public Health Commission’s Injury Prevention Program has a Kids Can’t Fly campaign to educate communities about the danger of window falls, and promotes prevention with the use of child safety window guards. The commission reports that falls are the leading cause of injury to children age five and under.
“I’m elated that the Governor has declared August as Window Safety Month,” said Aileen Shen, Director of the Injury Prevention Program at BPHC. “With warm months and the opening of windows, it’s important that we remember to take window safety precautions to keep our little ones safe.” Shen reiterated the safety tips that, along with other information, can be found on the BPHC website. “First and foremost, keep a close watch over your kids. As a second line of defense, install window guards; lock unopened doors and windows; keep bed, furniture, and anything a child can climb on away from windows; and open windows from the top down.”
Window safety is a matter of concern across the state. The Massachusetts State Child Fatality Review Team, which is charged with decreasing the incidence of preventable child fatalities and near fatalities, designated window falls prevention a top issue of concern in the past year. In Springfield, the Safe Kids of Western Mass Coalition works to reduce needless childhood injuries and deaths by teaching parents and caregivers how to keep kids free from injury.
The proclamation came about as a result of concern expressed by a constituent of state Senator Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont). Faith Morgan, who works in family and child advocacy, called the Senator’s office in June to inquire what might be done to further awareness of window safety.
“Window safety has been a long-time focus of mine so I’m thrilled that the Governor’s office declared August window safety month, said Morgan. “I’m extremely grateful, as well, to Senator Brownsberger and his staff for their work on this. As the proclamation points out – parents, caretakers and property owners should act to put in place safety measures and help prevent injuries year round. I’m really hoping folks will take it upon themselves to share the Kids Can’t Fly tips with those around them.”