Car Power Windows: An Often Overlooked Danger

Power windows in vehicles have killed or injured thousands of children over the last two decades. Although it takes just 22 pounds of force to suffocate or injure a small child, car power windows can exert an upward force of 30-80 pounds of force.  Since 1990, over 50 children have been killed by power windows, and many others have suffered brain injuries, amputations of fingers, and other injuries. Children age three or younger are those most commonly injured.

With knowledge of these risks, parents and caregivers can take steps to avoid possible tragedy. Here are some suggestions to help ensure that power windows in cars do not pose a danger to young children.

Tips for Power Window Safety

  •  Never leave your children alone in a vehicle for any reason.
  • Teach your children not to play with window switches.
  • Teach your children not to stand on passenger door arm rests.
  • Properly restrain your children in car seats or seat belts to prevent them from accidentally activating power windows and sunroofs.
  • Look and make sure your kids’ hands, feet, and head, are clear of windows before raising the windows.
  • Never leave the key in the ignition or in the “on” or “accessory” position when you walk away from your car.
  • If available, activate the power window lock switch so that your children cannot play with the windows.

Please share these important safety tips with your childcare providers, teachers, relatives, friends, family and neighbors… It could save a life!