During a 19-year
period, an estimated 98,145 children were treated in U.S. emergency
departments for injuries sustained in falls from windows.
The study, “Pediatric Injuries Attributable to Falls from Windows in the United States in 1990-2008”
is the first study to use a nationally representative sample to
identify risk factors and trends for pediatric window fall-related
injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments. The authors
found that windows falls occur more frequently during spring and
summer months. The rate of injury is higher for children younger than 5
years of age, and those children were more likely to sustain serious
injuries. In addition to young age, a fall height of three stories or
higher and a hard landing surface (such as concrete) increased the
risk for serious injuries.
Window fall prevention measures for young
children should include the use of window guards or window locks and
moving furniture away from windows to decrease a young child’s access.
Another way to reduce injuries is to consider the surface below
windows. Simply planting bushes or plant beds under windows can soften
the landing surface, reducing impact and the resulting injuries.
The American Academy of
Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians,
pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists
dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children,
adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.