Window safety for families -

Window safety for families

Kristin Perkins is living with every parent's nightmare -- losing a child. Her son, Dylan, fell to his death from a bedroom window.

Leeza Gibbons recently sat down with Kristin and talked about the heartbreaking tragedy to find out how other families can prevent the same occurrence.

"As a mom, I thought I did everything right," says Kristin. "We had the gate on the stairs, the child locks on the cabinets. Windows were never my concern. You just don't think about it."

Seven-year-old Dylan was playing near the window in his sister's room when he heard his friend across the street come home and rushed to the window to say hello.

The screen gave way and Dylan fell 30 feet to the concrete below.

"He was still alive," Kristin recalls the accident in painful detail. "It was a straight fall from the window, straight down. There was concrete and there was a guard rail. He was bleeding out the ears because the brain was swelling and he was still breathing. And his eyes were closed, but as I was talking to him he was moving his eyes over to me so I know that he heard everything that I said to him. He grabbed my hand and squeezed it, so I knew."

But while Kristin reassured her son, the reality was slowly setting in.

"In my heart, I knew. I just knew there's no way. That fall's too far. He's never going to make this," she remembers.

Unfortunately, what happened to Dylan was not a freak accident. According to a study conducted by the Center for Injury, Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, more than 5,000 children across the country fall from windows every year.

But according to the child protection organization Safe Kids USA, deaths and injuries from window falls are preventable.

Here's what they recommend to protect children in multi-level homes:

  • Never rely on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
  • Install window guards, but make sure the guards you buy have an emergency release button in case of fire.
  • Use window stops so windows open no more than four inches.
  • Keep furniture away from windows so children can't climb up to a window.
  • Whenever your windows are closed, keep them locked.
  • Talk to you children about staying away from the windows.

As part of her healing process, Kristin recently joined another mother who lost her child in a window fall accident and founded the DylanKeith & Laurie Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising window safety awareness.

"I just was never educated about windows and that's why I have such a passion now," adds Kristin. "It happens all the time. It's such a problem. And there's something that we need to do about this."


Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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