It’s tough to be a new parent. There are a lot of considerations when a new lifeform enters the home. Some things we take for granted as adults are actually dangerous to our children (such as wall sockets!). According to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, over a 19 year period there were 5,000 children who had fallen from windows per year. We want to ensure that our little ones are as safe as they can be – and so we are providing some tips and tricks below to help ensure that your child is safe.
*Disclosure: Practical Parents in Training’s goals are to provide great choices for parents both old and new. We earn compensation from affiliate links in this content.
Table of Contents
3 Major Window Hazards
There are 3 major hazards to consider when dealing with baby-proofing your windows.
This is the most obvious danger. Most ground level household windows are 2.5 to 4 feet off the ground. While child are more durable than many parents initially believe them to be – it is still a significant fall if they land on their head. In addition, windows on the 2nd story or higher are 10+ feet off the ground. At that point, these falls are most likely to be deadly.
Should a window break, the ensuing shards of glass can make it into crevices and cause major lacerations and cuts. This is a danger for both the baby and the other occupants of the home.
Cords from Window Blinds
The cords on window blinds and shutters are a choking hazard. These cords can work their way around a child’s neck or can be swallowed accidentally.
Types of Windows to be Aware of
There are 3 predominant windows to be concerned about (although more exist).
Hung Windows – these windows are actually broken up into two types: the single hung window and the double hung window. The difference between these two windows is whether only one or both of the top and bottom windows opens.
Sliding Windows – these are fairly common in modern houses – but these windows will slide along the horizontal axis in order to open.
Casement Windows AKA “Crank” Windows – these windows utilize a cranking system to open or close. Often – these cranks are located on the sides of the frame.
How to Childproof Your Windows
Depending on the type of window you have – as well as the amount of money you’re looking to spend there are a multitude of ways to childproof your windows. We’ve listed a few below to give you an idea of what you can do to ensure your window is childproof.
Window Cords Kits
As mentioned earlier – hanging window cords are often used to open and close blinders and other window dressings. These cords can be tied up and kept out of reach – but doing so will make working the cord later a real pain. Luckily, there are window cord retrofit kits which will either wrap up the cords in an easy-to-use and safe package.
Window Stop and Locks
These wedge shaped devices are used to prevent the window from sliding or opening past whatever point you need. They effectively block the lining your window pane is set in, and so you can set these to only allow a 4-inch maximum gap when opening your window. 4 inches is the recommended gap length because the vast majority of child torso’s are not able to squeeze through this side.
This style of child proofing will work on slider windows and hung windows – but typically won’t work on crank style windows.
Window Film for Shard-Proofing
As mentioned earlier; broken glass presents a major hazard to our children and ourselves. However, there are products out there that can help prevent shards from flying in every direction in the case of a window breakage. Keep in mind that this window film doesn’t make your window unbreakable – it just reduces the potential damage down by keeping all the sharp points of glass shards in a single area. Typically – the installation of these window films requires you to buy a large sheet and then cut to fit your window. You’ll want to pre-measure the size of your window panes to ensure you buy enough to cover all your glass.
This style of child proofing will work on all windows with glass – but the installation can be a headache if you’re trying it for the first time.
This mention of child proofing will require that your window is set into a cut out window space. But, these bars are a great method for ensuring your child remains safe while allowing you to open your windows fully. The typical window guard will looks like a telescopic bar and it will slide out to fit into your window.
Be sure to review the products to ensure that they’re able to be used in bedroom windows. For some places (such as the bedroom), the ability for these bars to be removed in an emergency might be required.
This style of child proofing will work on almost all window types.
Some Free Tips for New Parents to Baby Proof Your Windows
In addition to purchasing these products, Practical Parents in Training would also like to provide some free tips for new parents when babyproofing their windows.
Window Access from Furniture
The majority of windows aren’t really accessible for most babies due to their height. However, it won’t be long before your little one learns to climb up on couches, chairs, tables, and everything in your home. You’ll want to ensure that you review the location of the windows and try not to have any climbable furniture nearby. Keep in mind that our kids can push around chairs and such – and so you’ll want to test how tall these chairs are relative to your window. Even baby cribs made for shorter mothers are tall enough to be a hazard.
Screens are NOT Babyproof
Your window may have a mesh screen used to keep out bugs. It’s worth noting that these screens can take a small amount of punishment – but they’re not baby proof in any way. It won’t take too much banging for your little one to break through the mesh screen and go tumbling out the other side.
Watch Your Child’s Behavior
The biggest to safety net for preventing your child getting hurt is… you! Yes, by being aware of the dangers and watching your child closely – you are the first line of defence in protecting your child. Some children are naturally curious, some feel the need to climb everything, and some are hyper cautious.
Still interested in more tips? We have 7 great tips for new dads if you are itching to learn more about being a great parent!
Closing Statements about Baby Proofing
Ultimately, it’s up to you, as a parent, to make a conscious effort in preventing injury to your baby. The products and techniques presented in this blog are merely extra layers of protection – but the responsibility really falls on you to be situationally aware of your surroundings (as mention in one of our 7 tips for modern parents article).
Another safety aspect that modern parents must consider are cabinets and drawers. These cabinets and drawers can contain chemicals and medicines, which are easily poisonous to young children. We recently reviewed a great safety product that can cover cabinets and drawers for you. See our Safety 1st Magnetic Safety Kit review here.
One step in being more aware of your parenting is to review the 4 styles of parenting methods. By knowing they exist and placing a goal to utilize an active parenting method (we recommend authoritative) you can keep your child safe from harm.
Hello! We are the Newtons. James and Kelly Newton to be in fact. We set out to help modern parents learn the most up-to-date methods for helping to raise their kids in a tough new world. We hope our words might shed a little light on this enigma called "how to be a modern parent."