The Campaign to Stop Window Falls grew out of concern by injury prevention specialists who were seeing a high number of children entering the trauma system in Oregon from falling out of second-story windows during warm weather. While relatively few children die from this, one child, Parker Reck, died in 2009. This campaign is dedicated to the memory of Parker.
Window Falls Publicity Saves Children’s Lives
According to Oregon Trauma Registry data, the rate of children’s window falls has decreased 46 percent from 2009 to 2011. The dramatic decrease in children’s window falls is due to the combined efforts of the media’s increase in window fall coverage and extensive outreach of the window fall safety campaign. About 50 children a year fell from windows from 2009 to 2010. Over the last two years the increase in media coverage has led to a growth in community’s awareness of window safety, saving children’s lives. 2011 Oregon Trauma Registry data shows a 26 percent decrease in children’s window falls, from 2009 to 2010, and in 2012 data shows a 46 percent reduction from 2009 to 2011.
In the U.S., about 3,300 children under the age of 6 fall from windows every year with 70% falling from second or third story windows. In Oregon, about 50 children ages 0-5 fall from windows annually. The majority of window falls occur between the months of May and September, typically during warmer weather when windows are open for cooling and ventilation.
When opening windows, Stop and Lock at 4 inches.
Window falls are predictable, therefore preventable. On this website, there is information on what families can do to prevent child window falls, where families can find information on what kind of window stop, lock or guard is needed for their particular windows, and where educators can learn about the issue and spread this injury prevention message. We need your help to reduce the risk of injury to children – please learn about window falls and take action!
Window Fall Safety Tips to Protect Your Child
- Only allow windows to open 4 inches. Install a window stop to keep children from opening them further. Be sure an adult can open the window in an emergency.
- If you open windows wider than 4 inches, install window guards with an emergency release device.
- Remember, windows also serve as a secondary means of escape during an emergency. Make sure windows are still accessible and can open fully without special knowledge or tools.
- Do not rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. Screens are to keep bugs out, not kids in.
- Keep windows locked and closed when not in use.
- Keep furniture — or anything children can use to climb — away from windows.
- Teach children to play a safe distance from windows and enforce this rule in your home (i.e. “we play two big steps from windows”)
- When buying new windows, ask for ones with built-in-4-inch-limiters.