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About SickKids

April 6, 2005

Install window safety devices to protect children from injury, urges Safe Kids Canada

TORONTO - Before opening a window to enjoy the warm weather, Safe Kids Canada is urging parents to install safety devices to prevent young children from falling out of windows in their homes. In past summers, and as recent as an incident that took place in Toronto earlier this week, Canadian children have been seriously injured and have sometimes died falling from as low as a second-storey bedroom window. Many of these children were reported to be two to three years old, a common age for this kind of fall.

“Window screens will not protect your child. In fact, a screen can easily give way to the weight of a small child,” says Allyson Hewitt, executive director of Safe Kids Canada, the national injury prevention program of The Hospital for Sick Children. “Toddlers are great climbers and love to look out windows but don’t understand the risks of falling. Just one simple step can keep children safe.”

To prevent injuries from occurring to young children, Safe Kids Canada recommends parents:

· Install a device to stop the window from opening more than 10 centimetres (4 inches). A child cannot fall through this small a space. A wide variety of devices are available. Simple measures could include using screws in the window frame to prevent the window from opening more than 10 centimetres.

· Install a window guard, sold at hardware and some department stores, and safety specialty stores. This forms a barrier in front of the window.

If parents cannot use window devices, it is important to keep furniture away from windows, as well as balcony railings, to prevent young children from climbing up and falling.

Only a few cities in Canada have local by-laws that require landlords to install window safety devices on all windows in multi-unit dwellings. It is important that communities with these by-laws put resources behind educating landlords and tenants to make them aware of the regulation, why it is important, and how to get and use window guards. Safe Kids Canada also encourages provinces and territories to consider regulations to increase window safety.

For more information on child safety, parents can call-1-888-SAFE-TIPS or visit www.safekidscanada.ca .

For more information, please contact:

Media Contact
Public Affairs
The Hospital for Sick Children
Phone: 416-813-6380
Fax: 416-813-5328