Childproof Your Windows: 8 Tips to Avoid Falls and Ensure Safety

By: Jorge Montano-Figueroa

June 18, 2024

A child stands looking out a raised window

Enjoying the fresh air through an open window is one of the many ways to enjoy the weather. However, open windows can pose safety risks, including injury or fatalities for young children aged two to five.

We spoke with Jorge Montano-Figueroa, Pediatric Injury Prevention Specialist at Renown Children’s Hospital to understand how window falls can be prevented through safety devices and practicing careful habits. Use these tips to keep your children safe from window falls. 

  1. Supervise Young Children: Always keep an eye on young children, especially when they are near windows. Supervision is the first line of defense against accidents.  
  2. Keep Windows Closed and Locked: When possible, keep windows shut and secure. Locked windows prevent children from opening them and potentially falling out.
  3. Open Windows from the Top: If your windows allow, open them from the top down rather than the bottom up. This reduces the chance of children reaching the opening. Ensure that the opening is limited to four inches or less to prevent accidental falls.
  4. Install Child Safety Devices: For windows six feet or more above the ground, child safety devices such as window stops or guards are a must. These devices are readily available at hardware stores and for purchase online. They are designed to be easy for an adult to release in an emergency but secure enough to prevent a child from opening the window too wide.
    • Window Stops: These devices prevent windows from opening more than four inches, significantly reducing the risk of falls.
    • Window Guards: For windows that need to open more than four inches, window guards provide a barrier to prevent falls while allowing ventilation.
  5. Keep Climbing Hazards Away: Move furniture and other items that children could use to climb away from windows. Items such as chairs, beds, and couches can be stepping-stones for curious children.
  6. Establish a Safety Zone: Make it a household rule that children should play at least two feet away from windows. This safety zone helps keep them keep potential hazards out of reach.
  7. Childproof When Visiting: When visiting homes that may not be childproof, take extra precautions. Close and lock windows during your visit and watch your child closely to ensure they stay safe.
  8. Remember: Window Screens Are Not Safety Devices: Window screens are designed to keep bugs out, not children in. Screens can easily pop out if a child leans or pushes against them, leading to falls. Always use proper child safety devices instead of relying on window screens. 

By taking these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of window falls and keep your children safe. A few simple steps and some vigilance can make a big difference in preventing these potentially tragic accidents. 

For more information and to learn more, visit Pediatric Injury Prevention.

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