Niagara Emergency Medical Services is proud to assume expanded responsibility for health promotion. We contribute to public education and injury prevention initiatives in partnership with other community organizations. These educational opportunities by our staff empower individuals in Niagara to improve their own well-being.
Window and Balcony Safety
When warmer weather arrives, people open their windows and move onto their balconies and decks. Many people are unaware of the potential dangers associated with these areas of the home all year-round. Children are curious and an open window or door is an invitation to adventure and, potentially, a tragedy. Every year, children are injured or die in falls from windows or balconies.
Niagara Emergency Medical Services is a proud to be involved in the national campaign for Partners Promoting Windows and Balcony Safety. This uses three main strategies to reduce injuries: education, supervision and the use of safety devices.
There are some ways that you can reduce the risk of a child or adult from falling from a window or balcony:
Teach your children never to play near open windows or on balconies
Do not leave children unattended or unsupervised
Keep furniture away from windows and balcony railings
Lock all unopened windows and patio doors
Open windows from the top, not the bottom
Do not rely on screens - they keep insects out, not kids in
Install child safety window guards
Set a good example for children by practicing safety around windows, balconies and decks
What are Window Guards?
Aluminum or steel bars with a maximum four-inch spacing that are installed in the bottom half of a double-hung window
Guards are designed and tested to withstand 150 pounds of pressure.
Recommended for any window on the second story and above and for the first floor if the window is over 12 feet high
Are not required by law in Ontario but are recommended in homes with children age six and under
Cannot be substituted with window screens, which are designed to keep out insects and bugs but are NOT strong enough to keep a child from falling out
Operable Window Guards
Are releasable or removable from the inside without the use of separate tools, a key, or excessive force
Can be installed on all windows, including those on which fixed window guards cannot be used
If fixed guards are used, at least one window in each room should have an operable window guard to allow for emergency escape
Child safety window guards are NOT the same as burglar/security bars. Security bars are wide enough to allow a child to slip through and should not be used as a safety window guard. Child safety window guards are not designed to protect against intruders
If a window does not have a safety window guard installed, a window lock can be used to restrict the window from opening more than four inches
Pool and Water Safety
To prevent children from falling into your pool, build a fence and a gate that will keep children from entering the area
Keep the gate locked at all times
ALWAYS have an adult watching the children in and around the pool
Children under the age of 3 and children who cannot swim must wear a life jacket or PFD (personal floatation device)
Send children to swimming and water safety lessons
Make sure to have lifesaving equipment and a first aid kit are handy
Take a course on pool safety, first aid and lifesaving skills (such as CPR)
Have emergency phone numbers listed at the telephone easily accessible beside the pool
Always wear protective gear, especially a helmet when riding
Never ride in the street
Don't take chances. Complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially designed area
Only have one person riding per skateboard
Never hitch a ride from a car, bus, truck or bicycle
Always wear a bicycle helmet
Stop and look in all directions before cycling through an intersection and across a driveway
Never ride your bike on the left-hand side of the road while facing on-coming traffic
Never pull or tow a person with your bicycle
Keep both of your hands on the handlebars unless signalling
Obey all of the traffic signs and signals of the road
Never ride your bike through puddles
Remember that your bike is not a toy, it is a vehicle.