How to Childproof Windows in Your Home

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Mon, Apr 1, 2019

After a long and lingering winter, most homeowners can’t wait to fling open their windows and let the sunshine in. If you’re like us, you’re more than ready to fill your home with the smells, sounds and sights of spring. Window screens keep the bugs out while letting spring in, but it’s important to remember that screens are not designed to restrain children. April 1-7 has been designated as Window Safety Week. It’s a great time to assess the windows in your home and discuss safety with your children and loved ones.

Surprising Stats About Window Safety

Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the U.S. While some of these accidents were the result of climbing on furniture or falling down stairs, others happened when children leaned into a screen thinking it would hold them. Fatal falls are not common, but about 12 children under the age of 10 die each year as a result of falling from a window. Even one death is too many, especially when falls are so preventable.

How to Childproof Windows in Your Home

Thankfully, there are simple, practical steps you can take to childproof your windows. Here are three tips for keeping kids safe around windows in your home

#1 – Install a WOCD

WOCD stands for Window Opening Control Device and Windsor Windows has been offering them on our venting window products for years. WOCD's prevent window falls by limiting how wide your windows can open. These little devices are so subtle, you'll hardly be able to tell they’re there, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your child won’t be able to open the window high enough to crawl, fall or careen out. They come in an array of finishes and can be installed into new or retrofitted windows. The best part about sash limiters is that they are easy for an adult to disengage when necessary, such as in a fire emergency.

#2 – Move Your Furniture

A piece of furniture setting near a window could give a toddler dangerous access to the opening. Rearrange your furniture to limit access to little ones and prevent possible accidents from occurring.

#3 – Get Window Guards

These safety options childproof your window by covering the lower half of the window with mesh or bars to prevent children from falling through it. Window guards work well with single-hung, double-hung and sliding windows.

Don’t Forget to Allow for Emergency Escapes

It’s important to remember that childproofing your windows involves more than keeping kids in. The safety method that you install to keep children from accidentally falling out of a window must also allow them to escape in case of an emergency. These tips will help you prevent injuries and allow escape when necessary.

  • Don’t paint or nail your windows closed.
  • Make sure you know how to remove whatever WOCD you install.
  • Keep emergency escape ladders handy near second- or third-story windows.
  • Don’t install an air conditioning unit in the window of a room that only has one window. Remember to leave a path open for escape.

Window Safety Week is a perfect time to talk with your children about window safety. Explain the danger of playing near an open window and remind them that screens won’t keep them safe. If you’d like help childproofing your windows, give Windsor Windows a call today. Our experienced professionals are skilled in helping you childproof your windows without taking away from your enjoyment of the wonderful spring weather—or the views of it provided by your windows!