It’s the time of year to open up your home to fresh air and warmer days. Before you start cracking open those windows, however, take a moment to check these simple safety tips. With 25 children a year falling from windows (some of them resulting in tragic deaths), it’s a preventative measure you can’t afford to ignore.

A news release from the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), issues recommended steps that parents and caregivers can take to keep little ones (and not so little ones) from accidentally falling through open windows. Many parents have made the mistake of assuming a well-secured screen or window locks will prevent falls from happening, but additional precautions can help to secure the safety of children in homes with above-ground windows.

The CPSC recommends that parents know the following:

  • Windows should be installed with window guards or window stops. (On buildings with more than six floors, it is recommended that for floors 1-5, the guards be able to be opened by adults and older children in case of fire.) Window stops should open to no more than 4 inches.
  • Screens are not a dependable way to keep kids from falling out of windows. Even when properly secured and installed, they can be pushed from windows or torn to allow for children to fall through them.
  • Opening windows from the top, when possible, is the safest way to prevent accidents.
  • Furniture near windows (couches, tables, chairs, etc) can encourage climbing and falling through windows. Move any furniture away from windows, when possible. Limit access to step stools or other portable objects that could be used to gain access to windows.

Since April, there have been 18 reported falls from windows. Two of these cases resulted in deaths. By taking a moment to add window safety to your “spring cleaning” routine, parents can keep their child from becoming a sad statistic.