National Window Safety Week takes place during the first week of April. Every year, more than 3,300 children are treated in emergency rooms in US hospitals for injuries relating to falls from windows, and some of these injuries result in death.
Windows are a thing of beauty, but they can also be a source of danger if you have a young child (or children) in the house. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to protect your loved ones from window-related injuries and accidents. If you’re a parent, here’s what you need to know about window safety for National Window Safety Week.
Establish Firm Rules About Windows
One of the first things you can do to keep your kids safe around windows is to establish firm rules about windows. By creating rules that your children are supposed to follow, you establish boundaries that many children will automatically respect. Not sure what type of rules are appropriate? Some examples of effective rules:
- Windows are not toys
- Do not open windows without an adult
- Do not lean on screens
Some children will listen to rules and follow them easily, others are too young or too averse to rule following and will need other supports in place to keep them safe.
Use Tools to Stop Window Injuries
Windows are a known danger for curious and rambunctious children, so there are many tools on the market that you can use to keep your child safe. Below are some examples of safety devices that you can use to secure your windows.
Security cameras with motion sensors. Home security used to be expensive, but it’s much more affordable now that smart devices are available to connect to your cell phone. Simply purchase a home security camera with a motion sensor activation to know what’s going on with your windows at all times.
Child window guards. This low-tech solution to your problem can stop any child from falling out of a window. Child window guards can be installed by you or a handyman. They come in a range of sizes and colors, so you can choose the type of rails that will look best in your home.
Window opening control device. This device prevents your window from opening farther than is safe. This option keeps your kids safe while still allowing your windows to open and close safely.
Position Furniture Safely
Some children will find a way to reach a window if it’s something they can climb to from a nearby piece of furniture. Keeping tables, chairs, and sofas away from windows can help protect your child from accidents. Inspect each piece of furniture in your house for proximity to a window, and ask yourself if your child could potentially climb on the furniture to reach the glass.
If the furniture is close enough to provide access to a window, back it away from the wall so it’s a safe distance. Think creatively when you’re doing this. Maybe your child couldn’t reach the top of the table from the ground, but could they climb on a chair to reach the table to then reach the window? Investigate each possibility, and act accordingly.
Open the Right Windows
When you need to open a window, open windows your child can’t reach. These might be windows that are just too high up for your child to access them. This allows you to get the ventilation you need, and helps keep your child safe.
Practice Window Escape/Fire Safety
While it’s important for your child to not use your windows as a play thing, children who are old enough should know how to use your windows to escape in the event of a fire. Practice escaping from your windows during a fire. Show your child how to open the screen, if possible, and how to climb out of the window to safety.
Do this with children who are mature enough to handle knowing how to use the window as an emergency exit. If you have different types of windows in different parts of your house, be sure that your child knows how to escape from each one – especially the window in their bedroom.
Inspect Your Windows Periodically
Check your windows occasionally to ensure the locking mechanism is working properly, the window shuts as it should and the glass is intact. Check to be sure that the screen is in good condition, with no holes or tears. If your windows are in poor condition, have them repaired as soon as possible.
Install New Secure Windows
Do your windows lock properly? Are they secure in their frames? Do they close as they should? If your windows are broken in such a way that they don’t function properly, they could be a security or safety risk. Install new windows in your home to keep yourself and family members safe from potential intruders and accidents. Installing quality windows that lock easily can give you peace of mind in your day to day life.
Enjoy Your Windows in Safety This April
Window safety is important at all times of the year, not just in the first week of April. If you’re dedicated to ensuring that your windows are safe for your child, perform an inspection of your current windows, then get them repaired or replaced if needed.