More than 5,000 kids fall out of windows every year, a new study published in the Aug. 22 issue of Pediatrics said. Ninety-four percent of the falls are from the first and second floor windows. Accidents continue to be, by far, the leading cause of death in children, according to Medline Plus.
Dr. Gary Smith, study author and director of the center for injury research at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio said that this is more than just a big-city problem.
The average age of children who fall out of windows are preschoolers, the most at-risk group, the study said.
Two-thirds of these injuries occurred among children younger than 5, Smith explained. This is the age group that's mobile, curious and does not recognize the danger of falling from a window, he added.
Researchers evaluated data from emergency departments from 1990 through 2008. 98,415 children suffered injuries during this time. One percent of these children died, researchers said. This figure is likely too low as not all children who are killed are brought to the ER, researchers added.
According the study, summer months see the most injuries and, by extension, fatalities because windows are more likely to be open.
Injury rates from falls declined 4 percent over the past 19 years due to increased awareness, better window construction, and the use of window guards.
New York City saw a rapid decline in injury rates through public awareness campaigns and laws requiring window guards in apartments with children 10 years old and younger.
We know what works and yet we still have over 5,000 children a year being rushed to emergency departments because of falls from windows, Smith told MyHealthNewsDaily.