About 5,000 children fall out of windows each year, and kids 4 years old and younger are most at risk.


Serious falls that cause injuries happen most often in big cities, in low-income neighborhoods and during the summer months. While many people think that high-rise buildings pose the greatest danger, the most common distance for a child to fall is one to three stories. A fall from just 10 feet can cause spinal damage, paralysis, and head or brain injury.

Following are tips to prevent your child from falling out of a window.

  • Keep windows closed and locked when children are present.

  • If you open a window to let air in, choose one that children can’t reach. Or if windows are double hung, open the top part.

  • Standard window screens do not keep children from falling. Therefore, you should install window stops or guards on all low-lying windows. Guards screw into the sides of the window and have bars no more than 4 inches apart. Window stops will prevent the window from opening wide enough for a child to fit through.

  • Keep chairs, cribs and furniture away from the windows to prevent children from climbing out.

  • Always supervise young children as they play near a window.

© 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics. This Parent Plus may be freely copied and distributed with proper attribution.