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Childproofing Home Windows for a Safer Future

Childproofing home windows is a must. Windows pose a threat to our young ones – even windows with screens. The view outside the house makes windows very attractive to children. With all that excitement, it’s easy for infants and toddlers to ignore the potential danger.

Kids get hurt more often than we think, and a study conducted six years showed alarming numbers.

What Do Pediatricians Say?

Back in 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study on children and window accidents. Over a 19-year period from 1990 to 2008, more than 5,000 children fell from windows annually!

Here are some of the highlights of that research:

  • During the 19-year study period, around 98,415 children were treated in emergency departments for window fall injuries. That’s roughly 5,180 patients per year.
  • The average age of those children was 5.1 years, and boys accounted for 58.1% of the cases.
  • Children aged 0 to 4 were more likely to be hospitalized, sustain head injuries, or die.
  • 83% of these accidents involved screened windows.

Risk factors for serious injuries among children include:

  • Young age
  • Fall height of 3 stories or higher
  • Hard landing surfaces
  • Presence of furniture near the window
  • Window status

Because of these injuries, the study concluded that this “important pediatric public health problem” needed increased prevention efforts. This has led to the call for childproofing home windows.

Tips for Childproofing Home Windows

When kids play around, they are oblivious of real danger. Screens only protect you from mosquitoes – they cannot stop a child from falling through a second-story window. If you have children at home or are expecting, one of your priorities should be childproofing home windows.

  1. Clear the Area under a Window.

Windows may seem harmless if they are too high for your child to reach but we all know that nothing can stop a curious kid. When inspecting your windows, look around the room and spot the following risks:

  • Furniture that a child might climb to get to the window
  • Objects that can easily be stacked to form a ladder
  • Toys and other stuff that can be thrown through a window

The first step to childproofing home windows is to place furniture as far away as possible. Remove stackable and throwable objects. Once you’ve cleared the area, you might not need additional babyproofing products.

  1. Lock the Windows.

Most of the time, a child will figure out how to reach the window. To prevent accidents, it is best to simply lock your windows.

There are locks for every kind of window. You could opt to install permanent locks or retrofit existing lock barrels. The baby section is a good place to look for products that are effective in keeping windows shut.

When childproofing home windows, be sure to focus on one room at a time before moving on.

  1. Install Window Guards.

Some people prefer to open their windows to allow air to circulate and cool the house down; however, an open window can be a fall hazard. Windows should only open around 3 inches.

What if you already have a screen to keep the bugs out? Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a childproof window screen. The best way to keep your children safe is to install a window guard.

A window guard is like a grille with horizontal metal bars set apart in fixed widths. The gaps are less than four inches to prevent your child from falling through. Window grilles work with almost any window size. These are difficult to open for young kids but easy for adults in case of an emergency.

  1. Invest in Cordless Window Blinds.

Looped cords can strangle a child. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 200 children died from such accidents since 1990.

To prevent accidental strangulation from blind cords, cut the loop and add tassels instead. You could also replace old window blinds and invest in cordless shades.

  1. Attach Window Stops.

Window stops help you control the size of your window opening. The window most common type of window stop is the window wedge. It is easy to install on single hung, double hung and sliding windows. Make sure that the window opening is no wider than four inches.

  1. Remove the Crank Handle.

If your window has a crank opening, the simplest way to childproof it is to remove the handle. Be careful not to damage the crank handle! Should you need to open the window, the crank must be easy to locate and reinstall.

  1. Install Protective Window Film.

Even if your windows are shut, children can still get hurt if they break the glass. If your windows aren’t made of tempered glass, they could put your child at risk for serious injuries. Low windows that are located near your child’s play area must be baby-proofed. Attach a layer of protective film to prevent glass from shattering into jagged shards.

Contact Glass King for Custom Home Windows

While childproofing your home windows, it is important that you talk to your little tykes. Make them understand the dangers of climbing heights and falling from windows.

If you need help childproofing your home windows, consult with Glass King today. Glass King specializes in home window repairs in the Phoenix Metro area.

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