Mike Derham, chairman of Angel Ventlock window restrictor manufacturer, Mighton Products, has made a further call for the UK to follow the United States in intensifying legislation and educational efforts to prevent young children falling from windows.
Mike highlighted National Window Safety Week, an initiative of the National Safety Council, which has linked with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to raise awareness about the dangers of children falling from windows in a campaign that took place during the first week of April. This is to further reduce the estimated 3,300 children ages five and younger, who are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency departments. According to Mike, an average of eight deaths are also recorded annually – adding that 4,000 such accidents a year happen in the UK.
“In the United States there is far greater awareness of the dangers posed to young children of falling from windows than here in the UK,” said Mike. “Legislation is tougher but this is supplemented by public awareness initiatives including the National Safety Council, which even has a Window Safety Task Force that provides important information on how effective window safety practices and hardware can help significantly reduce the amount of window-fall related injuries.” Roto Frank of America, the US distributor of Mighton’s award winning window restrictor, has a representative on the Window Safety Task Force.
“Despite the work of the Child Accident Prevention Trust and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) legislation in the UK is comparatively poor, with the result that injuries and deaths to children caused by falling from windows are significantly higher pro rata then in the US.
“Legislation in the US imposes the ASTM [American Society for Testing and Materials] standard which helps prevent falls, educates parents and carers about window safety and defines standards for safety devices, especially those that prevent falls without interfering with emergency egress. ASTM standards are often used in the UK for other products so this is something that could so easily be remedied and without significant cost implications to anyone,” added Mike.