Family Shares This Safety Message on Anniversary of Daughter’s Death

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- As the weather warms and you open your windows, one family wants to make sure you're taking the proper steps to keep kids safe.

"Hannah was probably the most spirited child I've ever met. She was full of life," said Shanda Boone.

Hannah lit up every room she entered, Boone said.

"Hannah was so sweet. She was so, if you were feeling down, she would come sit by you."

It was a nice spring day in March 2011 and the 4-year-old was playing in a third-floor room when the window's screen gave way.

"It's very hard. It's been five years. That day is always hard, but we have spun it into as much positive as we can," said Boone.

Six months after Hannah's death, her parents formed the Hannah Geneser Foundation to raise awareness about organ donation and window fall prevention.

"It's something people don't think about. Shanda and I, I'd like to think we're pretty good parents, and we're normal people. We had a terrible accident that happened," said Hannah's dad, Jamie Geneser.

The foundation partnered with Blank Children's Hospital for Hannah's Hope for window safety.

"The best thing to remember is keeping your windows safe is actually part of babyproofing as well. We think about outlet covers, we think about all sorts of things when we're talking about child proofing, but often times we overlook our windows," said Janna Day, injury prevention project coordinator.

Safety steps include:

  1. Keep windows closed and locked.
  2. Use a compliant safety device on windows children can reach.
  3. Move all furniture and beds away from windows.
  4. Teach children to play a safe distance, which is two steps from a window.

Geneser also installed sturdier safety screens in their upstairs playroom.

"Lots of times, when kids fall out of windows, it’s from them leaning up against them or pushing them. And 80% of the falls, the screen is what is pushed out," he said. "A 3 to 4 to 5-year-old child is not going to be able to push it out.”

It's an extra step to make sure their two girls stay safe, as they remember their oldest daughter gone too soon.

"To say that to save one child means everything, but you know, when one child is your whole life, then that means everything," said Boone.

You can find window safety devices at the Blank Children's Safety Store. The Hannah Geneser Foundation offers advice on preventing window falls on its website.

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