According to the Safe Kids Worldwide 2015 Report, more than 3,300 children are treated for serious injuries due to falls from windows every year. Unfortunately, stories of children getting hurt simply because they were playing near open windows are all too common.
With classes back in session, it’s the perfect time to teach children about window safety. You make sure your students are ready for school with the right pens, pencils, notebooks and more. But have you made sure the school is ready for them? Here are a few tips you can use to help keep your little learners safe:
- Test and check all window locks (and check again). Get in the habit of ensuring your windows are locked at the beginning and end of each day. This practice will not only keep your kids safe inside, it will help prevent break-ins — especially with ground floor windows.
- Move desks and furniture away from windows. It’s a fact — children love climbing on things. Positioning items away from windows will hamper them from climbing up to get access to the window.
- Keep toys and activities away from windows. While a view of the outdoors may inspire children as they draw or read, it may also be a hazard waiting to happen. And, window locks may tempt tiny hands.
- Open from the top. If your windows are double-hungs with two operating sash, be sure to use the upper sash to allow air in. This will limit access to the opening for little ones.
- Avoid cords in your window coverings. Cords present potential choking hazards. Find an alternative to corded blinds, valances and other window coverings.
- Equip window guards to limit window openings. If you must operate windows in a classroom, be sure to implement ASTM-certified safety equipment that restricts windows from opening more than 4 inches. Window guards are critical and extremely affordable.
- Keep an eye out! Supervision is the number one method to keep kids safe. Monitor students and try to steer them away from activity near windows. Answer their questions when they ask “why” and take advantage of the teaching moment.
An important part of teaching is leading by example. Be sure to demonstrate proper window safety around children every day and serve as an inspiration. Just as with any other school subject, these are lessons they can carry with them as they grow older!
Are you a teacher, administrator, principal or school official? Do you know someone who works in education? Please share these tips with the educators you know and help keep students safe!