Nothing breaks a parent’s heart like seeing their child get hurt. Every child will fall, a lot, and every child will scrape her knee at some point. These things are inevitable and often cannot be prevented. But there are the occasional accidents that are avoidable which can be the most heartbreaking.
More children fall out of windows than you may realize. A study in 2011 found that 65 percent of hospitalizations each year that result from a fall from a window are children 4 years or younger, totaling up to about 5,000 per year (1).
As careful as you may be, it only takes a moment for you to turn your back before your little one has climbed up to the window sill, and window screens are not strong enough to hold the weight of your child.
With some minor precautions, you can child proof your windows and remove the risk associated with an adventurous child.
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Your Child Proof Windows Shopping List:
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Move Your Furniture
Before you run out to the store, the first step child proofing your windows is to examine your furniture layout. You want to make sure there are no couches or chairs in front of your windows.
These give your child an easy boost up to the window’s opening should she decide to climb up. Keep the area around your windows clear of anything your child can use a foothold or step ladder.
When you take the time to look at your furniture layout from your little one’s perspective you may be surprised with the hazards you spot. It will probably be the first time in your life you have had to do this, so a conscious effort must be made.
Window Child Proofing Products
Now that you have rearranged the rooms in your house, you can begin to look into additional ways to child proof your windows if needed. There are many good products on the market that are geared toward doing just this. From locks and latches, to bars and wedges, you are sure to find something that works for just about every room in your home.
Window bars, like this one from Lock-it Block-it on Amazon, work for both vertical and horizontal sliding windows as well as sliding doors. They fit into the sliding gap of the window frame or door way to prevent either from being able to be slid open. You can adjust the length of the bar, with the simple press of a button, to make it fit most door and window lengths. They are typically used to keep intruders out, but are just as effective at keeping your child in.
Brass Sliding Lock
Easy to use and adjustable to accommodate the thickness of most windows, the Dreambaby brass sliding lock is ideal for those windows you would still like to crack open to let in the breeze of a beautiful day. The installation of this lock does not leave any holes in your wall or window frame, making it usable in rentals as well. Slip the lock onto your window’s sliding area, adjusting the height to where you would like the window to stop opening at, and tighten with the Allen wrench provided in the package. It is that easy.
Window Lock with Latch
Safety 1st, a reputable baby company, has a window lock specifically designed for keeping your child safe. It mounts to your window frame with the help of a couple of small screws, and it has a latching lever that blocks your window from being opened when it is in the closed position.
There is a small button that disengages the latch to allow your window to be opened when you need to let some air in. Just a word of warning: these can only be installed on the right side of your window, so if you have side by side windows, this lock will only work on one.
Window Lock with Key
Another option is to replace your existing window latches with a locking version that has a key. It works just the same way that your current locks do, mounting to the top of your window and sliding shut.
With the additional key, you can ensure that your child will not be able to figure out how to open that latch herself.
Similar to the window bars, but without being as bulky, Cresci’s window wedge prevents your window from being slid open.
The rubber wedges mount to your window’s surface with pre-installed 3M tape, and have Velcro which allows them to easily be removed when you want to use your window.
All of the products mentioned so far are great for sliding windows, but what about those crank windows? While they are not the most commonly used in most houses, they still need to be taken into consideration when thinking about child proofing.
Your best option for these windows is to install a window guard. Many have bars that will prevent your child from falling through, but who wants to feel like they are imprisoned? Instead, try this mesh window guard from Kidco. It fits most 26 to 40 inch openings, which means it can even be used for double windows. This will allow you to keep the window open without worrying about a flimsy screen being the only thing between your child and the ground outside.
No Substitute for Supervision
Above all, you should never leave your child unattended in a room where you have left a window open, even if it is on the first floor. Your child is likely faster than you may think, and it only takes a moment before she pulls herself up and tumbles out. Keep your windows closed when you leave the room to eliminate any chance of this happening.
If you want more information – Check out our complete guide to child proofing here.