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Legacy in the News: Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel urges parents to secure windows

The Columbian and Metroscope

Saturday, August 4 and July 28, 2012

Open windows can bring a breath of fresh air to homes in the summer months, but local health and safety officials are cautioning parents to beware of dangers they present to children.

On Thursday, August 2, a 3-year-old boy suffered substantial injuries when he pushed out the screen of a second-story window and landed face-first on a concrete driveway in Bethany, Ore.

Nationwide, about 5,200 children age 17 or younger fall out of windows every year, said Sandy Nipper, child safety program coordinator for Legacy Health. Most are 4 years old or younger. Injuries range from scratches and bruises to broken bones, spinal and brain injuries, to severe trauma and death, she said.

Nipper added that children are hard-wired to explore and are great problem-solvers.

"There's a strong magnetism that exists between children and windows," she said. "It's their window into the world, especially for the under-5 crowd."

Parents can take a few steps without buying anything, she said. Those steps include keeping windows closed and locked when not in use and keeping things that can be climbed on away from windows.

"Screens keep bugs out; they don't keep kids in," Nipper at Legacy said.

If windows are secured with window stops so they don't open more than four inches, it will keep children from falling out, Nipper said.

"No parent can prevent 100 percent of injuries to children 100 percent of the time. It's just not doable," Nipper said. "There is a lot we can all do to prevent the numbers of and severity of injuries our children sustain."

Sandy Nipper, R.N., Jan Berichon and Ashley Reck, mother of Parker Reck who is the inspiration for the STOP at 4 Campaign, also spoke with Metroscope, a Portland-metropolitan area public affairs radio show, for 50 minutes about the importance of window safety and how parents and families can prevent window falls.

To learn more about window safety, Nipper says, people can visit the Safety Store at Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, 501 N. Graham St. in Portland, from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday. The store arranges appointments for individuals or groups at 503-413-4600.

 Read The Columbian's story here:

 Listen to Metroscope here: