Abundant windows in homes are a wonderful thing. They illuminate homes with natural light, provide views of the outdoors, allow natural ventilation, provide an open, airy feel, enhance curb appeal, and increase resale value. But if windows aren’t properly childproofed, they can also pose a danger to your children.

Sadly, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that falls from windows account for about 12 deaths and 5,000 injuries among children ages 10 and under each year. Window coverings can pose a risk as well. A 2017 study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that over 26 years, emergency departments nationwide treated almost 17,000 children for strangulation from window covering cords. Of those cases, 271 children died.

Fortunately, there are easy things you can do to ensure your windows are safe for your children as well as beautiful!

Install window guards or window stoppers

Window guards screw into the side of a window frame and have bars no more than four inches apart. In single-family homes or apartment buildings on the 6th floor or below, install window guards that be easily opened by older children or adults in case of a fire. Window guards come in different sizes and are adjustable for width. Retailers such as Amazon, Target, Lowe’s, and Home Depot all carry window guards.

Window stoppersare latches that prevent windows from opening beyond a certain point. Choose stoppers that limit your window openings to four inches. Whether opening windows from the bottom, top, or side, the opening should never exceed four inches when children are present.

Move furniture

Young children are curious little explorers — they love to climb! Move furniture, including cribs and beds, tables, chairs, and dressers, and other stackable objects away from windows so they can’t climb on window ledges and sills. Use extra caution on windows next to window seats where children like to climb and play.

Lock your windows

This is an easy option if you have a newer home with windows that have a latch or lock. If yours don’t, you can purchase a simple sash lock from a hardware store.

Use cordless window coverings or purchase cord protectors

Pull cords, inner cords of Roman shades, and lifting loops of roll-up blinds can all pose strangulation hazards to young children. Current safety standards require that new window coverings are manufactured without hazardous cords. The best option is to purchase these ready-made, cordless products.

If you are unable to replace your existing window coverings, use cord protectors (which can be purchased from Amazon or at local hardware or home improvement stores), eliminate dangling cords by making the pull cords are short as possible, keep all window coverings out of reach of children, ensure cords are properly installed to limit movement of inner lift cords, or anchor continuous loop cords to the floor or wall.

Other tips for childproofing your windows

·      For extra insurance, consider installing a window alarm.

·      Whenever possible, open windows from top to bottom.

·      Remove cranks from windows that include them so children can’t open them.

·      Never rely on screens alone to prevent children from falling out of windows.

Ready to add some safe and beautiful new windows to your home?

Family-owned and operated American Window Products, Inc. has been providing Jacksonville area homeowners with superior quality windows, storm panels, fabric screens, and other products for more than 36 years. We carry 16 different window manufacturers and more than 80 different windows to choose from and can customize sizes, so every homeowner is guaranteed to find something that suits their aesthetic and home’s architectural style. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!