When you’re preparing to bring a new addition to the home, you’re sure to be busy installing baby gates, covering electrical outlets and locking up household cleaners and medicines. But have you also considered your windows? While most parents-to-be will be familiar with issues surrounding blind cords and young children, it’s also very important to factor the windows themselves into your baby-proofing measures.
Every year in the United States, window falls account for around 3,300 injuries for children aged five and under. For children ten and under, there are approximately 5,000 injuries each year. While there has been a 50% decrease in window falls in the past 15 years, these numbers are still too high — in fact, they’re avoidable with a few simple pre-emptive measures.
If Your Windows Are Due for Renewal…
Old windows can let in drafts and outside noise, so aren’t ideal for a newborn. If you’re considering replacing your windows, opt for those that are double-hung as offered by installation teams like Centennial Windows. The double-hung window style has two operating sashes that move up and down instead of opening outwards, making them harder for children to open. Chat with your local window company and ask for their advice on the window style, too.
Install Extra Window Security
Even if you install new windows — whatever style you opt for —window guards are another potential safety measure. Window guards are bars that you can install either horizontally or vertically; while not the most attractive of features, they’re a temporary measure to keep your kids safe.
An alternative to window guards is a window wedge. A window wedge is a wedge-shaped tool that simply stops a window from opening any further from where you set it.
Lastly, check out the Charley bar: a security measure used to stop patio doors from opening passed a certain point. Charley bars can be used on sliding kids’ windows as well. Make sure your bar is placed high enough so that your child can’t remove it themselves.
Keep Furniture Away from Windows
It’s no secret that babies and toddlers love to crawl and explore. By keeping furniture away from windows, you’re minimizing their ability to clamber to window height, which would put them in a potentially dangerous situation.
Control the Allure of the Windowsill
Keep kids’ toys, books, and games off of the windowsill. Leaving items of attraction will draw children to the windowsill area; by keeping that space clear, you’re not pulling them to the area we’re trying to avoid in the first place.
Dressing Your Child’s Window
It’s well known that corded window blinds are a hazard in a child’s room. Nowadays, there are safe window dressing options available; for example, you may opt for cordless window blinds or curtains instead — both are relatively safe for a child’s room.
That said, the attachments for the blinds and curtains themselves aren’t necessarily danger-free. Make sure that the blinds and curtains are securely attached to the wall — this is especially important if your child likes to tug or pull-on curtains.
Having a window in a child’s room is a lovely way to let in light, fresh air, and stimulation. With a few measures to keep the window area safe and secure, you’re sure to get much safe enjoyment out of your windows for many years to come.