Experts talk safety after Eugene child falls out of window

“Of course we want to open the windows and let the fresh air in,” Porth said, “but that can sometimes put our children at risk.”

Posted: May 12, 2021 6:46 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A small child fell out of the window of a Eugene home on Wednesday, causing safety experts to speak out about the importance of child safety.

The child in this incident suffered significant but non-life-threatening injuries, and according to experts, that child experienced one of the more positive outcomes.

Don Porth is a safety advocate with Stop at 4, a campaign that focuses on the dangers of open windows around young children. Porth said the warmer weather can contribute to these types of accidents. In addition to that, children are typically eager to look and be outside during this time.

“Children are curious and we certainly don't want to quell that curiosity, [but] your home should be a safe place,” Porth said.

The four in Stop at 4 refers to the maximum inches a window should be opened with a child in the house. Porth said the key age group that people should focus on is children under the age of 7.

“Of course we want to open the windows and let the fresh air in,” Porth said. “But that can sometimes put our children at risk.”

He urged parents to set boundaries for their children around window areas with things like a rug or even tape.

“You can have areas to keep kids away from windows just like you might a kitchen stove," Porth said.

In addition to that, he named several devices to help secure windows. The first is called a window stop.

"The side of the window that moves, when [the stop] is positioned properly, bumps into this,” Porth said.

That device helps keep the window at the preferred four-inch distance.

Second is a thumb screw.

“That prevents the window from opening,” Porth said. However, he said this method is not preferred because it can get sticky and become difficult to remove.

Third is a safety screen, which differs from the screens that are on most normal homes.

"It actually has teeth and when they crimp it onto the screen material, it grabs and bites it so these cannot be opened easily," Porth said.

According to Porth, the weakness to this is if enough pressure is applied, the entire screen itself can be pushed out.

He said regardless of which device you choose, you should make sure that you test your ability to remove it quickly in the case of an emergency.

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