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Fact Sheet

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that thousands of young children are injured in falls from windows each year.

To prevent falls from windows:
  • Young children should NEVER be left unattended or unsupervised.

  • Do not rely on screens to prevent a fall out of a window; screens are designed to keep insects out, not children in.

  • Safeguard your windows with window guards or window stops.
    • Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. (For windows on the 6th floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of fire.)
    • Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches.

  • Keep all furniture away from windows to keep children from climbing near windows.

  • Only open windows children cannot reach. If possible, open windows from the top rather than the bottom for ventilation.

  • Window treatments (blinds, cords, drapes) should be kept out of a childs reach to prevent strangulation or choking; children also sometimes use them as climbing tools to reach an open window.

  • If local fire and building codes permit, window guards may be an option for some windows. Window guards must have a release mechanism that can open from the inside without the use of a key, special knowledge or effort.

  • Practice a fire escape plan. Bedrooms must have two ways out (the door plus another door or window). Test the windows to see if they are large enough and low enough to escape through. Smoke detectors should be properly installed and maintained.

National SAFE KIDS Campaign
Minnesota Department of Health
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Contact the South Dakota Safety Council at
or phone 605-361-7785 or 1-800-952-5539.