When it comes to children’s safety at your home, windows can be one of the dangers because they attract children with exciting view about all the things happening outside the house. It’s not about just a little injure, but it can put your baby’s life in danger.
According to some American statistics, over the last 19 years there were over 5000 children that fell from window each year, so started being common thing. This sad information was shocking to us.
That is why it is very important to know how to baby proof windows in right way. This guide will meet you with all the things that you should know in order to protect your child from window accidents like falls, broken glass and cord hazards.
- Common Types of windows and baby proofing solutions
- Methods to baby proof windows
- What else?
Common Types of windows and baby proofing solutions
Before you choose the best way how to baby proof windows in your home it is important to know windows types because they should be proofed according to that. In this section we will describe the main characteristics of each window type and ways of baby proofing it and after that we will give you more details about each baby proofing method.
As their name says, these windows can be opened and closed on the horizontal axis. In order to baby proof siding windows you can use Charley Bar, Window Stop or Window Guard.
This type of windows can be found in single or double hung variant. With single hung windows only the bottom ones are designed for slide opening and with double ones, both the top and bottom window can be opened. You can baby proof these windows using Window Stop or Window Guard.
Casement (Crank Windows)
Casement windows are also called crank windows. You can open and close them by turning a cranking handle clockwise or anti clockwise. Protection for babies for this type of windows can be Window Guard or you can just remove crank handles.
Methods to baby proof windows
After you have identified which type of widows you have in your home, it is a time to see more about the methods that are good to baby proof them.
Okay, you have identified which windows you have installed in your house? Good, now let’s look at the methods available for you to baby proof them.
Clear the area
Most of the windows are set high enough so it is difficult for a child to reach them. But, there is furniture or other stuffs at your home that can serve your child as a ladder. There are also light objects like marbles that can be thrown and can break a window.
That is why it is good to check each room and organize it so all the furniture and objects that can be thrown are far from window. This should be the first step before starting with any baby proofing product because some of the windows won’t need them after you make this step.
Lock the windows
This is the easiest way to prevent a baby from opening a window. You will be lucky if the windows already have locks installed. In case you can’t find the keys to windows you can choose the solution to get lock barrels replaced. They can be found online or at local hardware store.
On the other hand, retrofitting windows is pretty expensive and takes time, so in case you don’t like this solution there are ready made baby proofing products that are also effective and able to keep the windows shut.
Read more: How to Baby Proof Corners
Also when people baby proof windows in their homes they often forget those that aren’t often used such as windows in the bathroom. In order to reduce oversight it will be good to focus on one room at a time before you move to next one. Also it is important not to skip the room just because there are no windows as there are also other things in your home that you should baby proof.
Windows stops have a purpose to prevent a window from opening past a certain point. A good thing about this baby proof method is that it is visually discrete but on the other hand window will have very limited opening range.
That is why it is important to stick to rule not to allow more than 4 inches of opening because that suits the size of a 5 month old baby’s torso.
You should be very careful if you have vinyl windows and make sure to by a compatible window stop.
This can be good solution for single and double hung and sliders.
Window Wedge is a type of windows stop designed to baby proof single hung, double hung and sliding windows. As its name says it can prevent your little one from opening the window by “wedging” it shut.
A good thing about this product is that you won’t need any special tools to install it and it is made of durable plastic.
It is also important to know that the window wedge is a child proofing product and can’t serve as a burglar prevention device.
In case you are planning to use window stop to hold the window open you have to be sure that window opening isn’t wider than four inches because a child won’t be able to fall out of a gap with this size.
Charley Bar can be a good solution to baby proof sliding windows. Many parents don’t know for this method and it can be very effective.
It works like a boom gate. You will be able to open it freely when it is in the up position. The window is closed when the charley bar drops down to horizontal position.
The trick with this baby proofing method is to set it up upside down. In this way the bar will be placed high up and out of baby’s reach. Most of these products can be cut with a hacksaw and be adapted to sliding windows of all sizes.
All the previous methods work well, but what to do in case you want to open a window and let a cool breeze in? This can be especially a problem in warmer months. A lot of parents just open a window to circulate the air to cool the house.
An opened window can be a fall hazard to a baby. How to cool your home and have a child safe at the same time? Window Guard can be a good solution. This product is consisted of a series of bars that are set apart at fixed widths. The gaps are designed to be smaller than four inches in order to prevent a baby from falling through.
Read more: How To Child Proof Door Handle Lever
People who live in urban areas such as New York, Boston or New Jersey can note that there are specific styles of window guards approved for use for building codes and home builder’s regulations. Maybe to some of you this can be trivial but when you think better, it really does matter.
On the first place, responders want to know they will be enabled to gain entry through the guards in an emergency such as house fire and get into children’s room from outside. That is why it is good to check if the guard has an emergency release and if it is approved to be used in bedroom because some of these guards aren’t.
This solution is good for sliders, awning, single and double hung and casement.
Shard-proof Window Films
This is a good solution when you need to baby proof and protect loose glass shards after window break. As you know, tempered glass can break into bazillion shards that can get anywhere and can be a great danger to your little one.
A transparent Window Films can be a good choice because they prevent the shards from getting everywhere. Always have on your mind that it doesn’t prevent a crack or break of the glass, it just contains the shards. One more, good thing about these products is that they are UV treated.
These products can be convenient for casement, sliders and non-opening windows.
Window Cord Retrofit Kits
These products can fit into the broader window safety bucket, but on the other hand they also can be a threat for your baby. In case you have window treatments that have cords hanging down, they can be very dangerous for your little one. Our recommendation is if you have this at home, you should replace it with a cordless window covering. If this is expensive for you, don’t worry. The Window Covering Safety Council has amazing online resources and offers free cord retrofit kits.
What to do with crank windows?
There is a simple trick how to keep casement or crank windows. If you look closely to crank that serves to open the window you will see that crank handle can be removed. All you will have to do is to unscrew it or just pull straight off.
We recommend you to be careful not to damage the crank handle so you don’t need to use too much force.
What to do with unusual windows?
In case you have some unusual window, don’t worry. There is a DIY solution that can be applied to almost any window.
You will need for this Velcro strip, measuring tape, glue and Lexan sheet. First you will need to measure the space across window frame and write it down. Then measure the vertical of your window and write it down. You should also pick a point that is high enough to keep your little one safe. Most of the parents stick with half the window height.
When you are done with measuring you will need to cut Lexan sheet using those measures. Velcro should be attached along the sides of the Lexan sheet and the hooks to the window frame using glue. You will get a sturdy child proof window cover that allows light through.
You can also do some optional things like drill holes in Lexan in order to allow airflow. You should also make sure to find out how to drill through plastic first.
You can also screw the Lexan sheet to the window frame instead of Velcro to get a more permanent solution, but first you will have to drill pilot holes.
What to do with Window Sill?
When they are in hurry to baby proof windows in all the rooms, parents usually forgot a piece of wood sticking out bellow, the window sill.
In case you have low window you should check edges. If edges are forming a harsh point you surely won’t want your child to fall into the window sill and knock its little head. You can soften up harsh edges if you use the same corner cushions that are used on coffee tables.
These are not just a danger for your kid because of falling, but also because they can attract a child to climb on. It forms a comfortable perch for baby’s little feet and gives your child the opportunity to view through the window.
That is a dangerous place for any child to stand on. Fall through the window can be extremely dangerous as well as falling into the room, so there is no good reason for your baby to play on the window still.
In case you were reading this guide carefully, you should have already removed any furniture that can assist your baby to reach the window sill.
There are some parents who put uncomfortable objects like a carpet tack strips on the window sill in order to discourage their children from climbing. We are against any method that can cause baby’s pain, so we kindly ask you not to do it to your children.
Finally, it isn’t enough just to baby proof parts of your home, but also to teach your little one to act in a safe manner around it.
Teach it what unacceptable is
Your baby should and can be aware what unacceptable is if you teach it in a right way. For example, in case you don’t like your kid playing on the window tell it not to do. A simple way in baby proofing windows and any other part of your home that is dangerous for your babies is to reprimand them for unacceptable behavior.
Before you lose your nerves seeing your child in danger you should follow these steps:
Before you simply lose it and look like a crazy momma, there is actually a process you should follow when coaching your baby:
- Sometimes is good to raise a voice but only a little bit. It is always good to use a different tone when coaching your baby.
- Explain to your child why it shouldn’t do it.
- Always be consistent, so you should coach your kid each time its attitude becomes dangerous for it.
- You should also teach your baby each time you manage.
Considering statistics when it comes to baby accidents at home, windows are the most common. That is why it is very important to find a good solution when thinking how to baby proof windows. The way how you will do it depends first on the type of the window you have.
Before you decide to buy and product to baby proof windows you should first try to clear the area and lock the windows. When you do it and still think you need more things to baby proof windows you should consider products like window stops, charley bar, window guards or shard-proof window films.
Baby proofing products aren’t enough. Coaching a baby in order to be aware of dangers in its environment has also a great role so don’t forget to work on it. We wish you luck and a lot of patience!