July 12, 2021

How to be kid-safe around windows and water.

Fun In The Sun

It’s summer, which means we get to hopefully plan some fun ways to enjoy the warm weather. But, even with the fun, it’s still important to start with safety. Let’s not forget a few important ways to stay safe when it’s sunny.

Danger With Windows

Open windows are a common source of injury for young children who fall out of windows at an alarming rate. As we open our windows to invite in the fresh air, remember that these injuries can be prevented with a few steps and consistent routines:

  • If windows are not deliberately opened, make sure they are closed and locked
  • Take extra care with windows that are 6 or more feet from the ground outside. You can install safety devices that prevent children from opening these windows or prevent them from opening more than 4 inches.
  • Keep objects and furniture that can be climbed away from windows.
  • When you are in an unfamiliar place that may have unlocked windows, make sure to supervise young children any time they are in an upstairs area or near windows.

Finally, remember that window screens are not safety devices. Too many times they have been pushed out by a curious child.

Water Safety

With such amazing access to natural bodies of water here in the Pacific Northwest, it is so important that we stay prepared.

Serious injuries and death are real concerns when thinking about water-related dangers. In Washington state, an average of 17 children and adolescents drown each year. Drowning is the leading cause
of unintentional death for children ages 1–4 years old.

The two most important strategies to prevent water-related injury are life jackets and supervision.

Contrary to what we see in the movies, serious drowning is often silent with children slipping underwater without splashing or loud noises. For this reason, when there are children in the water, there should be a designated adult who is always supervising.

Additionally, most drownings in young children happen when parents hadn’t expected them to be in the water.

Any time there is potential access to standing water, even if it is not a designated swim time, make sure that children aren’t able to get themselves into a dangerous situation without being noticed by an adult.

Spending time in the water is beneficial in so many ways, allowing us to move our bodies to stay active and healthy while visiting the many beautiful lakes and rivers we have access to. Let’s enjoy them while it’s warm and stay safe doing it.

Dr. Marcus Baca Blog Profile

By Dr. Marcus Baca, MD

CHAS Health
Director of Pediatrics