Each year, Canada reports over 420 children are brought to emergency rooms because they’ve fallen from home windows. Many of which involved window screens. This is because screens create an illusion of safety for both the parents and the children themselves.
It’s important to note that these are designed to keep insects out and are not sturdy enough to protect people from falling out.
One way these unfortunate accidents can be prevented is by setting up childproof windows.
At Clera Windows + Doors, we are passionate about helping homeowners create safe and comfortable home environments. In line with this, we’ve put together this guide on how to prevent window falls and how to set up childproof windows.
Read on to start making your home a safer space!
General Window Safety and Children
Here are a few must-know guidelines to protect your kids from window falls:
- Never leave children alone in a room where the windows are open and not childproofed;
- Keep all furniture that children can climb on away from the windows;
- Clear away all easily movable objects that can be stacked together to access a window; and
- Clear away objects that can break a window open when thrown (e.g. marbles).
Now that we’ve covered these basics, let’s explore the various ways you can set up childproof windows in your home.
How to Set Up Childproof Windows
Depending on what window types you have at home, you can mix and match the following steps to ensure your windows are childproofed.
1. Install Window Guards (For Any Window Type)
Window guards are grill-type protectors. They usually span nearly the entire window height and are installed from the inside. These temporary fixtures give parents peace of mind, knowing that their child cannot fall out of an open window.
Window guards work with almost any type of window, including single and double-hung, casement, awning, and sliders. These devices use a telescoping bar that slides out to fit your window’s width. They are then locked in place with hardware. In the event of an emergency, adults can easily open them.
When buying window guards to set up childproof windows, check if it works with your window frame material. In addition, make sure the product has an emergency release and that it’s approved for installation in all rooms, including bedrooms.
2. Window Stops (For Sliders and Hung Windows)
Window stops are nifty, wedge-like devices that prevent a window from opening beyond a certain point. They are mostly used with sliders and single/double-hung window styles. These fixtures limit your window opening considerably while being visually discreet.
3. Get a Charley Bar (For Sliding Windows and Doors)
Charley bars can be used to ensure childproof windows. Similar to a boom gate, you can freely open your sliding window when the Charley bar is in a vertical position. But when the Charley bar is dropped to a horizontal position, the window remains closed.
This fixture should be installed upside-down so that it is high enough, our of your child’s reach. You can easily cut the bar with a hacksaw to fit any sliding window size.
4. Removing the Window Handle (For Casement Windows)
Casement windows come with a little crank that you turn to open and close the window. However, these handles are not permanently fixed to the window. You can actually remove them by unscrewing or pulling them straight off. By doing so, you can keep this window type closed.
Remember to be careful when removing the crank handle to avoid damaging it, as you will still need to open your casement windows for ventilation.
5. Get Double-Hung Windows
You’re probably asking yourself if there is a specific type of window that is best for childproofing. The answer is yes — and it’s double-hung windows, which have two sashes that move vertically.
What few people know is that the bottom half of these windows can be closed, while the top half remains open. This can help prevent accidents among babies and small children — all while giving superior ventilation. However, to be 100% safe, we recommend using a compatible childproofing solution with this window type such as window guards.
6. Get Any Window Type That Has a Lock
If you don’t wish to get double-hung windows for your home, another option is to make sure you have lockable windows, whatever window style they may be. Many new windows come designed with permanent locks. This is the easiest way to stop your children from accessing an open window. Simply lock your windows whenever you cannot provide full supervision.
7. The DIY Option — Using a Lexan Sheet
If you like improvising, then this is a DIY trick to get childproof windows. Here’s how to do it:
- Cut a sheet of Lexan to fit the size of the window you want to cover (usually the bottom half of the window).
- Attach Velcro along the sides of the sheet.
- Install hooks on the window frame using glue.
This will create a transparent, sturdy childproof window cover that still lets light through. For extra airflow, simply drill holes in the sheet.
Tips for Other Common Window Safety Concerns
In the above sections, we covered steps on how to get childproof windows that prevent falls. Now, we will address other safety concerns — like the possibility of shards from broken glass and the dangers of corded window treatments.
1. Get Shard-Proof Window Films
Shard-proof window films can be applied to your glass windows to prevent the shards from scattering in case it breaks. This film does not harden the glass or prevent it from cracking, but it helps to contain the shards of broken glass — preventing injuries such as cuts and lacerations.
Shard-proof window films are sold as large sheets that you can cut down to a preferred size. As an added bonus, many of these window films are also UV treated.
2. Get Cordless Window Treatments
Window treatments with cords that hang down can be a silent threat in your home, as they can easily strangle your little one. To eliminate this hazard and ensure childproof windows, consider replacing your corded window treatments with a cordless option.
Childproof Your Windows Today with Clera
Which of these tips for childproof windows will you be incorporating into your home? By acting on these tips immediately, you’ll be able to prevent accidents and turn your home into a safer space.
We, at Clera Windows + Doors, are passionate about home improvements for added safety, comfort, and style. If you have any questions about upgrading your windows into childproof ones, we’re here to help.