According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), more than 4,000 children under the age of 15 are injured falling from windows every year, while the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) state that one child under five is admitted to hospital every day nationally after falling from a building, often from open windows.
These frightening statistics are made even more shocking with the regularity of tragic accidents making the headlines, serving as a reminder of the terrible consequences that can occur when a window isn’t properly restricted. RoSPA estimate that around 10 children die each year as a result of falls, including those from windows.
A recent inquest into the tragic death of a six-year-old boy was told, it is believed, that he sat on the window cill of his second storey bedroom to read a book and that he may have leaned on the window and fell out. He was rushed to hospital but died two days later as a result of a ‘catastrophic’ head injury.
The hearing was told that the lower panel of the PVCu replacement window had no catches and opened fully wide from the top.
The boy’s family had lived in the rented property for about three years and his father had raised the issue of the unrestricted windows with the landlord when they moved in, but it had been ‘forgotten about or overlooked’.
“We are hearing these awful stories far too regularly,” says Toby Staff, Managing Director of Newstar Door Controls. “It’s always terrible to hear of any child being injured or dying as a result of an accident. But cases like this, where it could so easily have been avoided, are particularly heart breaking.
“As parents, we’re fully aware that accidents do happen. All we can do is take every possible precaution to ensure that the environment our children live in is as safe as possible.”
The Health and Safety Executive advise that ‘windows that are large enough to allow people to fall out should be restrained sufficiently to prevent such falls. The opening should be restricted to 100mm or less. Window restrictors should only be able to be disengaged using a special tool or key’.
CAPT recommend that window catches, locks or restrictors are fitted to stop windows being opened too wide. CAPT Chief Executive, Katrina Phillips, says: “Safety equipment like this takes the pressure off you. It’s often easy to fit and you can find safety catches for all types of windows, including metal window frames and double glazing.”
Newstar Door Controls manufactures the Cubelock range of window restrictors and have vast experience in the sector.
“In this day and age, there really shouldn’t be any instances of a child being injured or killed as a result of falling from a window.
“A window restrictor doesn’t cost the earth, but it could save a life. Not only are they inexpensive, with prices starting at less than £7.00, they’re also simple to install, and the peace of mind that they provide is priceless.
“When it comes to the safety of your children, you really can’t compromise, and we’re always happy to offer advice to anyone who would like to know more about our range.”