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Window guards to prevent New York City child injuries

An open window is a disaster waiting to happen when young children are present in a New York City high-rise during the hot summer months. Each year, numerous children fall out of New York City windows. Some of those children are killed, and others are catastrophically injured.

Curious and naïve, children often want to approach an open window to look at the world outside, but children do not have the necessary mental faculties and motor skills to judge how close they can safely get to the open window without falling. Plus, young children are small, and they can fit and fall through small openings that would not be dangerous to adults.

Even single-story apartments and homes present open-window dangers to children. When a child falls out of a first-floor window and hits his or her head, the injuries can be fatal. In order to prevent these kinds of accidents, a simple screen is not enough. A sturdy window guard is needed.

When selecting a window guard for an apartment, New York City residents should check to ensure that it has been approved via the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They should also take great care when installing it to ensure that it is installed correctly, and screwed in securely with tamperproof screws.

Homeowners and renters in New York City should also keep in mind that even if they do not have children of their own, if a child visitor comes to the residence, the renter and/or property owner could be liable for personal injury or wrongful death damages in the event that the visiting child falls through an open window. As such, New Yorkers are encouraged to keep their windows closed when children are visiting, or install appropriate window guards to prevent an unnecessary accident.

Source: New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, "Window Guards," accessed Aug. 11, 2016

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