Child safety is at the forefront and centre of every parent’s mind. That’s not because the parents are neurotic creatures always on the lookout for reasons to get worried. Child injuries are a serious and highly probable matter.
They happen a lot, and almost everyone knows a scary story or two. The saddest part is that most of these incidents are avoidable.
Children falling off windows are among the main reasons of fatalities and hospital admissions. We’re talking about thousands of incidents each year. That’s why it’s important to have baby-proof windows.
Child safety is important. That’s why we put together this full guide on how to properly baby-proof your windows.
Why Do You Need to Baby Proof Your Window?
The possibility that a child falls off a window is serious enough to merit taking care of your house windows. It was a big deal with the legislators, that they changed the safety codes in new buildings.
Toddlers are little explorers who never leave a stone unturned, and often venture where they shouldn’t. As parents, we discover early on, that these little babies become Einsteins when it comes to figuring out how to open latches, drawers, a fridge, or a closed toilet lid.
Extra measures for child-proofing the house mean spending extra effort, time, and money. Is it worth the hassle? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
According to Stanford Children’s health, around 4000 children require health treatment after falling from windows. This is the toll taken each year. In addition to approximately 12 fatalities.
Further research showed that boys were more prone to falling than girls. Also, children below 5 years of age are more likely to receive critical – or fatal – head injuries. With most of these incidents taking place in spring and summer.
On a brighter note, you can baby-proof your windows to minimize or even eliminate these risks.
What Happens if You Don’t Baby Proof Your Windows?
Are there any reasons why people shy away from baby-proofing their windows? There are a few discouraging things. Here are the most common:
- Closing off windows permanently is against the fire code.
- The house is safer with emergency exits, like windows.
- Some people think that adjusting windows is expensive.
- Some haven’t seen the right child-proofing solutions.
- The need for cool refreshing air, especially in spring and summer.
- Some apartments don’t have A/Cs and depend entirely on natural ventilation.
- The child-proofing devices look too ugly and spoil the decor.
New buildings are required by code to place the windows at a reasonably safe height. They often have manageable dimensions, and several come equipped with locks. The problems with poor child-proofing are more abundant in older houses.
Vintage buildings are elegant and beautiful to look at, with their huge Victorian windows and panoramic views. While these are perfect for adults, they are treacherous for children. They need significant effort to become safe. Often sizable amounts of money too.
These resistive individuals put their children in extremely high-risk situations, unnecessarily. Children are by nature inquisitive and playful. They’re adept at doing what they shouldn’t and venturing where they’re not supposed to.
Windows are such fun places to be around. They often overlook lush gardens, busy streets, or even the backyard where the house pet is putting up a show. It’s only normal that they’ll try to open up the window and go where the fun is.
Another common situation we often see is when the parent leaves the window open to let in a cool refreshing breeze. Many times the parents assume that their kid is unable to reach the window. But as we mentioned before, kids are resourceful, and they easily push a chair next to the window or stack up a few books to get to the window sill.
This could soon escalate into a disaster if the kid is routinely left unattended and unmonitored. In fact, the parent doesn’t need to be away for hours for tragedy to hit. A single phone call is more than enough time.
Can a Child Fall Through a Closed Window?
The answer to this might surprise you. But yes. This is quite possible.
Many parents consider a screened-window as closed. This is a misconception that has caused many incidents. The gauze on these screens is much too weak to hold back a kid. This is natural, considering it was designed to keep away the flies, not protect the children.
Another issue is breaking the glass pane. The closed window is no longer closed if it breaks. A child could easily walk into it and might fall off. Most types of windows are also easily opened. A crank, a knob, or a latch, are literally child’s play for a toddler.
Another risk that comes with a closed window is the window sill. It often looks like an exciting spot for the child to climb onto. Falling off the window sill isn’t as grim as falling off the window, but it could still cause preventable injuries.
How Do I Make my Windows Toddler Safe?
There are some simple steps you can take to make your windows toddler safe. We know about these from previous incidents, in addition to the input of various safety and child care organisations.
First, you need to install locks, guards, or window stops on all your windows. Also, make sure the blinder cords and window sill sharp edges are taken care of. Then, you need to teach your kid how to behave safely around the house.
It would be great if we could child-proof everything everywhere. But we can’t. That’s why it’s important to get your child used to some habits, like not getting too close to any window.
How do I Stop My Child From Falling Out of the Window?
Parents know how hard it is to teach their kids anything at all. And sometimes, when you caution them against certain behaviours, it’s like giving them ideas. What they shouldn’t do, suddenly becomes the thing they want to try the most!
Reprimanding a child isn’t an ideal approach either. Children could get defensive and stubborn. Once their parent is out of the room, they’ll race to all the No-Dos. Some caretakers resort to scaring the kids off whatever they don’t want them to do. This is seriously bad for the children.
It’s best to give the child space to explore and be confident. There’s no reason at all to bring up children who are timid and afraid of their shadows. At the same time, they should have an awareness of their personal safety.
Leading by example works nicely. Choose the child’s play area away from the windows. And when you close or open one, show the child that you are careful. Tell them that it’s clever to stay safe at all times. Show a different attitude at the jungle gym in the park. Let them see where you are comfortable and where you are not.
Next, comes the actual physical child-proofing of the house. You can start with getting the right information about safety. This would make your choices less overwhelming and more on point. For example, we at Yellodoor are a website that’s all about child safety.
On our blog you can also read about securing your child in the car seat.
Among the basics of child safety, is decluttering the area near the window. Removing any furniture the child climb, as well as any stackable objects. Children are pretty creative. Also, keep any heavy toys in a lockable drawer or cabinet. Kids throw these at windows all the time, and we don’t want to see any broken panes.
These are easy steps, and they decrease the risk of your child falling off a window. However, you’d need to make sure the windows are completely inaccessible to the child. This takes some hardware and a bit of skill.
Child Safe Windows
Making the windows 100% safe is possible, and with some creativity, the windows would still be workable. They’d offer ventilation, and if necessary, provide an emergency exit compliant with the building and fire codes.
What Makes a Window Child Safe?
A window becomes child safe when it doesn’t pose any threat to the little one playing around it. This means that the child can’t open it, the window sill is out of the child’s reach, and preferably having tempered glass panes instead of regular ones.
In addition to that, if you have corded blinders, make sure they are child-proof as well. Roll the cord back, wrap it with a casing, and hang it at a height that’s out of reach for a child. These cords have a high incidence of strangulation among toddlers, which are often fatal.
How Do I Secure my Windows?
There are many options to make the windows baby-proof. The type of window, age of the child, and available budget determine how exactly you’d secure the windows.
Personal taste might play a part as well. For example, not all parents accept the appearance of the window rails. They think of them as a ‘mini prison’. Despite being highly effective, said family should opt for an aesthetically pleasing alternative.
How to Baby Proof Windows
As we mentioned just a minute ago, there are several options to baby proof your windows. Here are the most effective solutions we know of.
How Do You Childproof a Window?
You can use locks, window guards, window stoppers, child-proof window screens, or even tie the window with a chain. If a deadbolt seems like a nice solution, by all means, try it. The most important thing is to pick the childproofing method that’s suitable to your child’s age and your window type.
Baby Proof Window Guards
This is a quick and easy method to child-proof a window. Back in the day, window guards used to be made from wrought iron, and they would be nailed or welded to the windows. They had lovely appearances and were 10000% secure.
The problem was their violation of another safety aspect. In case of any emergency, the windows need to be available as a viable exit. That’s why the sealed-in artistic window guards can only be used if another fully accessible window is close by.
The window guards of our times are mounted on the window frames, but they have a simple mechanism that can snap them open if necessary. This fulfils the need to open the window, have a sense of security around it, and also have full compliance with the fire code.
It’s important to make sure that the distance between the rails is less than 4 inches. And if you kid is an astute climber, mount the rails vertically. Otherwise, they can be used as a ladder! This is clearly another type of risk!
As mentioned before, the window guards are effective, but they could be visually intrusive to some homeowners.
The Milkiwai window guard is among the products that gained a lot of popularity recently. It could be a bit pricey though, so you could consider the QIANDA guard rails. If you have a window side panel, the Trixie grid might interest you. It’s similar to the rail idea but fits in the small opening of the side window.
Baby Proof Window Screen
This type of protection is more suitable for little babies than toddlers. It’s a lot like the mesh perimeter of a trampoline set. The Richoose safety net is not bad at all, especially if used together with guard rails or window stoppers.
It could also be used in balcony rails or staircase rails. Adding an extra level of protection is always good.
Baby Proof Window Locks
This offers a high level of security, as most kids wouldn’t be able to get the key, put in the lock, and open the window. Even the little Ethan Hunts of this day and age.
The LinkFOR lock is a neat and secure jammer for the window. It fits with screws and has a pad for extra stability. If you would like to use a restriction cable, also with lock and key, consider the Cardea restrictor. It’ll let you open the window a bit, without compromising your child’s safety.
Child Safety Window Locks with no screws
Drilling holes isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Luckily, there are easy mount alternatives like LATIBELL sliding window locks. They stick on the window pane with an adhesive base. Quick and easy.
Window Baby Gate
Sometimes an area of the house is too dangerous for a child no matter how much you try to fix it. It could have too many sharp-edged tables, a window sill, or it could lead to a staircase.
In situations like these, controlling the child’s range of mobility is best. Installing a baby gate is an easy way to place safe boundaries for a baby or toddler.
The ZZRS window gate is pressure mounted and doesn’t need holes to be installed.
Safety for Windows
In addition to the above-mentioned considerations, it’s best to use extra protection for the glass panes, and if there are any sharp edges around the window frame, try to put padding on them.
Planting some shrubs or plants below the window is also highly advisable. So that in the unfortunate event of a child falling, it’s much better to have a soft surface that could absorb the impact. As opposed to the harshness of a hard surface.
Here are some general recommendations to increase the safety of your windows.
Tips for Making Windows Safe for Your Child
Several organisations like the National Safety Council (NSC) and The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), recommend some simple practices to make your child’s surroundings fun and safe.
Baby Window Safety
Babies mainly crawl from place to place, and they are so small that they could slip from the tiniest openings. The highest risk would be in low open windows. This is more frequent in old buildings than in new ones.
Care should be taken while arranging the furniture, as putting a chair or a sofa below the window would make it fully accessible.
Toddler Window Safety
Toddlers are much more resourceful and much less prone to reasoning. They love to explore and have very little sense of danger. Installing window guards or locks would be a good idea. In addition to arranging the furniture around the room and removing the stackable objects.
Child Window Safety
Children are quite capable of all sorts of mischief! That’s why a Lock and key for the window are highly advisable.
At this stage, children can be reasoned with. In fact, it’s essential to educate them about safe behaviour. It’ll benefit them immensely when they’re at friend’s houses or at school. Not all places would have the safety requirements you wish for, so it’s better to be able to trust your child.
The number of child injuries and fatalities resulting from falling off windows is grim. Every parent who’s been in that situation wishes in retrospect to have child-proofed their homes.
Instead of regrets, it’s best to ensure the child’s safety and well being. Having baby proof windows around the house is simple and straight forward. Mostly it involves installing a few pieces of hardware and rearranging furniture.
Any effort, time, or money put into child-proofing your home is totally worth it.