Safety experts remind parents of window dangers ahead of warmer - KPTV - FOX 12

Safety experts remind parents of window dangers ahead of warmer weather

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

As the weather heats up, a lot of families may be leaving their windows open at home, but safety experts warn that small children can easily fall through the screens and hurt themselves.

This has already happened at least once this season. Earlier in May, a 2-year-old in St. Helens fell 16 feet to the ground.

Luckily, the child survived, but experts worry that with the warm weather Portlanders are about to see there may be other cases, adding that this is a danger children may face that is totally preventable.

Dr. Benjamin Hoffman with OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s Safety Center showed FOX 12 some things parents can do at home to help prevent these incidents.

One option is installing a mesh window guard, which attaches around the outside of the window so it can still be opened but now with a physical barrier to keep children safe.

There are a number of inexpensive options for whatever kind of window a homeowner has, with many priced under $10. Window stays are quick and easy to attach, and they keep the window from opening far enough that a child could fall through.

Hoffman also warns that people living on the ground floor are not immune to these kinds of dangers. He said a first-floor window above a hard surface like concrete or asphalt can still be dangerous or even deadly.

The doctor also noted that while screens may help keep pests out when windows are open, they do not provide safety for children.

“Screens are designed to keep bugs out, they do not keep people in,” Hoffman added. “Screens will pop out with only about 10 pounds of force, and that’s not enough to be able to protect a child.”

For anyone in the market for new windows, there are options that open top to bottom instead of left to right, putting that screen a safe height above children.

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