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According to Herbert Hoover: "Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity." But open windows are also an opportunity for disaster.

I received an email recently that contained information about the risk of falls for children and preventative strategies:

The Associated Press reports that according to a study in the journal Pediatrics, over 5,000 children and teens in the US "are injured each year in falls from windows" each year. The study found that children younger than five accounted for two-thirds of the injuries. This "is the first nationally representative study of such injuries." It drew on data from emergency departments from 1990 through 2008.

The New York Times reports, "Falls from first or second floor windows accounted for 94 percent of the falls." Dr. Gary A. Smith, senior author of the study and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, "noted that the data collected for the study understate the real toll of window falls," as those children "seen by family doctors and those who die at the scene are not counted in the emergency room data."

The CNN (8/22) "The Chart" blog reports that Smith suggested that parents use window guards or locks, not open windows more than four inches, and move furniture away from windows. "He reinforces the message that a screen does not offer protection and should give parents no feeling of comfort."

We handled a case stemming from a fall out a fraternity window at the University of Washington and obtained a very favorable result for the student who fell. If you have any questions about falls from windows please call or email me.

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