From the City of Renton:
As the temperature rises, families might decide to open a window or take a last minute trip to enjoy a dip in the water. The City of Renton would like offer a few simple ideas to stay safe while beating the heat.
When opening a window to cool down, remember that window screens are not designed to prevent a fall; they are designed to keep out bugs. Open windows create a dangerous, even deadly, situation for children, even if the window is on the first floor. Most falls can be prevented by taking appropriate safety measures.
- Never place a crib next to a window.
- Keep furniture away from windows; it’s an invitation to climb.
- Properly supervise children at all times.
- Install window guards or window stops. Window stops prevent windows from opening more than four inches while window guards are specially designed coverings for windows to prevent falls.
- Consider installing double-hung windows that can be opened from the top for ventilation rather than the bottom, so your child can’t crawl (or fall) through the opening.
- Create soft landing areas outside windows. A simple way is to plant bushes or beds of plants below the windows.
- Make sure doors that lead to above-ground decks are locked. This is especially appropriate for sliding doors, where little hands don’t need to twist doorknobs.
And there’s one big “don’t”: don’t nail a window shut. While it would likely prevent a child from falling through, it is not an appropriate or safe solution. Windows serve as escape routes in case of fire, so you should be able to open them in a hurry.
Cooling off in a river, lake, or pool can be a fun way to beat the heat, but drowning and shock from the cold water can be concerns. Please remember:
- Always wear a personal flotation device. King County offers programs to provide low-cost life jackets.
- Check the water conditions and potential hazards before entering a river or lake.
- Actively supervise children near water and never leave them unattended – even for a moment.
- Swim only in designated areas.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs when participating in water sports or activities.
- Know your limits and do not exceed them.
Renton has several areas that have a life guard: Henry Moses Aquatic Center, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, or Kennydale Beach Park.
The elderly and children are especially vulnerable to heat. If your residence is not air conditioned, go to a community facility or business that has air conditioning. Renton Community Center and Renton Senior Activity Center are both air conditioned, and open during regular business hours. Libraries, movie theatres, and indoor shopping malls will also provide relief.
Pets, too, need to be looked after. Make sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water and a shady spot to rest. If your pet is panting excessively or having a difficult time breathing, it could be the onset of overheating. As with children, open and unscreened windows are a danger. Keep all unscreened windows closed.
More information on how to beat the heat and stay cool are on the city’s website: rentonwa.gov/heat.