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It’s been a year since the world stopped in its tracks, and if you’re like me, you’re tired. Tired of social distancing. Tired of mask wearing. Tired of missing loved ones. Just tired. Special shout-out to all you tired parents out there! When it’s acceptable to do so, let’s all get together for the world’s largest high five. We are parenting during a pandemic, and it’s exhausting. So exhausting. As a parenting researcher put it when describing parents’ roles right now, “There’s just a lot on their plate.” But, now is not the time to let our guard down. The safety of our children doesn’t stop at social distancing and mask wearing. It actually starts in the place where we’ve felt the most safe during the pandemic – our own home.

The first full week of April each year is designated as Window Safety Week – a time to remind parents and caregivers about simple tips to keep children safe around windows. In 2021, Window Safety Week will be observed April 4-11. Set aside time to review tips with the children in your life to prevent accidental falls.

  1. When young children are around, keep windows closed and locked.
  2. When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child’s reach.
  3. Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing and gaining access to an open window.
  4. Don’t allow children to jump on beds or other furniture to help reduce potential falls.
  5. Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.
  6. Supervise children to keep child’s play away from windows, balconies or patio doors.
  7. Install ASTM F2090 compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards to help prevent a fall.

A fun way to reinforce these tips is going through the Window Safety Activity Book with your kids. This printable resource includes mazes, word searches and other interactive elements that even young ones can understand. Last year, I printed a few activity books and dropped them off on my neighbors’ porches (keeping my distance, don’t worry) and was so thrilled to receive a text from my good friend, Ashlee, with a photo of the cover as colored by her adorable daughter, Emilee. She included a note that explained how the activity book had helped both to educate her kids about window safety and to break up a rather tedious day of eLearning. Hallelujah and high five to Ashlee - who is an amazing parent!

With the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, my best advice is “Remain diligent!” Continue to practice health safety measures like handwashing, but also keep window safety at the top of your mind as we begin to open windows to let fresh air into your safe place – your home – this spring. And, to all you tired parents, I’ll send a calendar invite for that high five celebration soon.