Gothamist remembers growing up with windows guards on our bedroom windows and not really understanding (or caring) why they were there. But looking back at the times we opened and threw things out of windows for fun (tissues, paper airplanes, one time a battery to see what it looked like inside), it's a good thing they were. As the weather warms up, it's no surprise that the number of injuries from falls from open windows increases. But a new study from Columbia University shows that seasonal peaks in falls from buildings appear to be age-related.
Most building-fall injuries and deaths among 0-4 year olds occur from May to September, with a gradual increase in injuries beginning as early as March and April. In contrast, among 15-18 year olds, injuries due to falls from buildings are more evenly dispersed throughout the year, with injuries in February and December exceeding those in the hot weather months of July and August.
Perhaps that is because adolescents spend more time hanging out of windows smoking, spitting, and throwing stuff on people which is a year-round activity. Incidentally, New York's injury rate is nearly half that of the national average no doubt due to the fact that we are the only major city in the U.S. with a law mandating the use of window guards.
If you have a child under 11 years old, your landlord, owner, or manager is required by law to provide and install window guards and you may not refuse them. You can also request them if your child is older, or you're apartment is frequently visited by children. If you need to file a complaint, you can call the Window Falls Prevention Unit at (212) 676-2158 to make a complaint.