Are we doing enough to ensure the safety of our military children? The answer is no.
Since 2017, Congress has passed laws to strengthen the safety standards to protect our children and yet no one has been held accountable to these standards. Evans Law, originally passed in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), started the path for window safety in military housing. Additions to this law occurred in the 2019 and 2020 NDAA, to further safety measures and has allowed for grant money to become available for privatized military housing landlords to retrofit safety features on windows to prevent children from falling.
And yet we’ve had deaths and injuries of military children falling every year. Military children are at a disproportionate risk for window falls and while this has been acknowledged there has been minimal pressure on the companies responsible for implementing the safety features to do so.
What do we want? Preventable accidents and deaths of military children to end. We want military children to be safe in their homes. Do you think this effort would cost too much? One child’s fall has cost taxpayers over $100,000 and that number will continue to grow. If that money was used, instead, to install thousands of window safety units – subsequent falls, deaths and injuries would continue to be prevented. And what's more – according to a recent document released through the Freedom of Information Act, 18 children have fallen from MHPI housing since 2017.
One death is too many. Multiple deaths and injuries are unforgivable. We need to do better. We need to push the privatized housing companies to install window safety features on all homes with children. We need to push the Department of Defense to lead the way and supply grants for the money needed to install these life saving measures.
How can you help?
Contact Lincoln Military Housing, Corvias Military Living, Balfour Beatty Communities, Hunt Military, Lendlease, and Clark Realty and ask what they are doing to retrofit their existing window units to prevent falls.
Contact your local military housing office and ask what they are doing to move the privatized housing companies to retrofit the existing windows to prevent falls.
For more information on how to help – contact our Window Safety Hazard Advocate, Kate Needham via email to firstname.lastname@example.org