5 Tips for Window Safety in the Summer | News | Loyola Medicine
Thursday, July 2, 2015

Loyola pediatric safety expert gives tips for window safety on hot summer days

loyola physician and pediatric patient

MAYWOOD, IL – The dog days of summer are here. But as we try to catch a cool breeze, that open window can become a dangerous hazard for children. In fact, emergency rooms treat more than 5,000 children each year for injuries related to falls from windows.

“There is nothing like a cool breeze on a hot day, but windows can be extremely dangerous for children, especially young children,” said Bridget Boyd, MD, pediatric safety expert at Loyola University Health System and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Falls from windows cause more serious injuries and deaths than any other type of fall.

“One of the most important things we can do to help prevent falls is to never leave a child unattended by an open window. It may seem like a ‘no brainer,’ but even if you are gone for only a few minutes to answer the door or change the laundry, that can be enough time for a young child to fall,”    Dr. Boyd said.

Dr. Boyd offers the following tips:

  • Keep furniture away from windows, especially cribs, beds, changing tables, chairs and other furniture that can be used to climb.
  • Screens only keep insects out. They don’t keep children in. Use a window guard to ensure children are safe when the window is open. When purchasing guards make sure there is an emergency release in case of fire.
  • If you don’t want to purchase a guard, window stops can be installed that allow windows to open up to only 4 inches.
  • Keep windows locked when not in use. And do not allow children to play on fire escapes, roofs or balconies.
  • If possible, try to provide a soft surface such as shrubs, wood chips or grass beneath windows. This may limit the impact if a fall does occur.

“Fresh air on a hot day is wonderful. Just make sure that if there are children in the house, you have safety measures in place to keep them safe from a possible fall,” Dr. Boyd said.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.