4 inches are key to preventing window falls

Every year, 40 to 50 children are admitted to Harborview Medical Center after falling from an open window, says Dr. Brian Johnston, the hospital's chief of pediatrics.

Harborview’s Injury Prevention & Research Center estimates that over 85% percent of children who fall through windows first fall through a screen.

Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, but not to keep children in, says Johnston, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Simple window stops can provide a safe solution.

“When we're using windows stop, an important number to remember is 4 inches. We want to allow a window to open up to 4 inches for ventilation, but windows that are more than 4  inches open allow a toddler or another child to pass through.”

In an instructional video, Johnston demonstrates how to install and use two common window stops.  Download this video and broadcast-ready soundbites.

UW Medicine