Power Windows a Possible Danger

By: Karen Kostko
By: Karen Kostko

The next time you run into the store just for a few short moments, and your kids are left in the car unattended, you may want to keep this in mind: those convenient power windows could cause a deadly accident.

"You get into a habit where they're okay for a few minutes, and in those couple minutes tragedy awaits and it's very quick for them to get involved," says Maureen Pilsner, Officer Friendly, Wausau Police Department.

Across the U.S., several parents have lost their children in power window mishaps. It's a danger that's hard for many parents to imagine. This month a four-year-old boy in Walworth County lost his life after he activated the power widows in his mom's car, getting his neck caught. In just the last four months, six U.S. children have been killed the same way.

Officials say the average power window rises with more than 40 pounds of force, and only eight pounds of force could kill a child. Power windows are in more than 80 percent of cars today. Some manufacturers offer special safety features such as the "bounce back" window, but they're not standard.

So what can you do to ensure your child's safety? Officials offer the following tips:

  • Never leave children unattended in cars
  • Do not leave keys in car
  • Use window locks
  • Discuss power window dangers with kids
  • Ask dealers about "bounce back" feature

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