New parents have a laundry list of things to consider when trying to keep their kids safe at home. Baby proof windows should be high on that list. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as many as 5,000 children experience window fall-related injuries each year. The 19-year study concluded that the average age of the children injured was 5 years old. It may be no surprise to some parents that almost 60 percent of the cases were boys. The stat that concerns parents most is that over 25 percent of the incidents resulted in serious injuries that required admission to a hospital.
The first, and easiest thing you should do, is secure the area adjacent to the windows in your home by removing any potential hazards. Pay close attention to the windows in your child’s bedroom and especially those windows situated at higher elevations. This would obviously include windows on the second story of your home. The not so obvious locations are windows on the main level where the grade level slopes away from your home creating a large drop to the ground.
Simple Steps for Baby Proof Windows
Relocate Furniture: Move any furniture that is adjacent to a window whereas a child could use it as a ladder to climb up to the window.
Remove Stackable Items: Children are very creative and resourceful, don’t store any lightweight stackable items in the bedroom of a tiny tot. They are also very inquisitive, when you’re not looking they will build themselves an elevated platform so they can look out the window.
Remove Hard Objects: You’re not likely to let your toddler play with anything hard in the first place, but pay close attention to anything in their bedroom that could be used to break the glass and remove it from their bedroom.
Locks & Latches for Baby Proof Windows
Double-Hung Windows: While we all love to crack open a window to let in the fresh spring air, you need to secure the opening. Window screens will do little or nothing to protect your child from falling. Installing removable baby-proof window guards is the answer. They will keep your toddler secure, yet are easily removed by an adult in an instant when needed. You can also install a window stop which limits how much the lower sash can be raised.
Sliding Windows: Installing a Charley Bar or window stops on sliding windows will prevent a child from opening the window. If you want to open a sliding window to let fresh air in you can install the same removable window guards noted above. Another option is a window wedge, a tapered wedge that locks the sliding window in the closed position.
Casement Windows: One easy way to secure a casement window is to remove the crank handles. Keep the handle nearby for mom and dad, yet inaccessible for toddlers. Removable window guards are also an option for casement windows.