How to Childproof Your Windows

Do you have young children in your home? If so, be sure to child-proof your windows before letting the warm spring air waft through your house. Such measures are like installing baby gates – they keep your baby safe with little extra effort.

Window falls are common, particularly in spring and summer. And they are preventable. Just take a look at these news reports from the first few days of April:

Pennsylvania boy, age 3, falls from a window and sustains head injuries.

Oklahoma 5-year-old falls from second-story window. His condition is unknown.

5-year-old Omaha girl survives 2-story fall with only bumps and bruises

Grand Rapids boy, age 2, survives fall from 2nd story window with minor injuries.

This week, by the way, is the National Safety Council’s National Window Safety week. But a week of such reports is not unusual. On average each year, 9 children die and about 3,700 are injured from window falls.

CPSC recommends the following ways to child-proof your windows and prevent your children from having a serious fall:

Window Guard

Window guards screw into the side of a window frame and have bars no more than 4 inches apart.

      • Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. For windows on the 6th floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of a fire.

Window guards screw into the side of a window frame and have bars no more than 4 inches apart. They are sold in different sizes for various size windows and adjust for width. Guards must meet requirements for spacing and strength. Those that allow for escape in case of emergencies must be difficult for very young children to open.

• If you don’t use window guards, install and use window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches. Whether opening windows from the bottom, top, or side, openings should never exceed 4 inches with children present.

• Move furniture, including cribs and beds, away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows. Use extra caution on windows next to window seats where children may climb and play.

• Bug screens are NOT baby gates. They keep bugs out, but they are not strong enough to keep toddlers in. Do not rely on them to keep your windows child-safe.

• Whenever possible, open windows from the top, not the bottom.

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