Windows. They keep you safe and let in the light, but according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about eight children under age five die each year from falling out a window and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.
“Oh my gosh, I had no idea that when I woke up, this is what the day would have in store,” begins the Nava family’s story and video public service announcement (PSA) as Bridget Nava and her husband Mark relive the frightening experience of their youngest daughter’s fall from a second-story family room window while the mother was nearby, making lunch as the siblings played.
An opened window to cool down the family room on a hot summer afternoon revealed a vulnerability in their home safety they had no awareness of.
And while the story ends – thankfully – with young Rosie surviving her fall with only some hearing loss in her right ear, the Nava family knows the story could have ended differently.
“It could happen to anybody,” Nava said. “Window locks are crucial to keeping kids safe,” she concludes.
“We are grateful to the Nava family for their courage to publicly share their experience so that other families don’t have to suffer,” said Abe Laydon, Douglas County Commissioner. “As the father of three, one of whom is a toddler, my heart breaks for parents whose children had life-altering accidents which often happen in the blink of an eye. We encourage fellow parents in Douglas County to check and secure all of your windows, especially those on upper floors, to ensure you can continue making memories with those who love and depend on you.”
The National Safety Council Window Safety Task Force offers these suggestions and more to help protect children:
- Teach caregivers and children that screens keep bugs out, but they do not keep children in
- For any windows that are 6 feet or higher from the ground, install window stops or guards that meet ASTM standards – limiting windows to opening less than 4 inches
- Keep furniture or anything a child can climb away from windows
- Lessen the potential impact of injury from a fall through strategic landscaping – use of wood chips, grass or shrubs beneath windows
The Nava family’s story and public service announcement are brought to you by the Douglas County Commissioners, the Douglas County Department of Human Services and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
For more information about window safety visit douglas.co.us and search: Window Safety for Children.