by Robert Fox
Although they let in a cool breeze, open windows can a real danger for children at home. Indeed, a report was released by the Consumer Safety Commission warning home owners of the lack of equipment used to secure windows in houses, resulting in tragic accidents.
Each year, 200 children 11 months to 5 years die from an act of falling from an open window. An accident can happen quickly, so equip your windows with all you need to protect your children.
If the protection of children is fundamental to you (honestly, how can it not be?), it is essential to keep your home adequately ventilated, while not leaving windows wide open which can precipitate accidents with children. So what can we do, as parents?
To find a compromise between these two requirements of airflow and window safety, you can equip your windows with a window lock AKA a window guard or window stopper.
These types of accessories help to keep the window open enough to let the air in, while preventing it from opening completely. Actually, depending on where you place the window guard, the window will open only as much as you want it to, which may be just a hair, or a few inches.
You might think a small child couldn't open a window, but you'd be wrong to assume that. Kids, including even very small children, are able to perform amazing feats of daring when not watched, to the horror of their parents.
The above video is something we should all want to avoid, if humanly possible. One cost effective way to do it are the simple window guards.
Here is a selection of top selling window guards and, as you can see, they come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and colors. A little window stopper can go a long way as far as safety goes!
Depending on the age of your child, be sure to pay special attention to place your new window guard at the correct height to prevent the child from reaching them.
Your choice of window guard will depend on several factors, with the main one being the type of window you have, and how it opens. Many windows open by sliding sideways, while others open by sliding up or down (double hung window). Some even open up like a book, using a crank - these are called hinged windows.
If you take the example of the Parent Unit Guardian Window Stopper we showed you earlier, it sticks to your window by way of suction cup, making it very versatile as far as where it can be placed. This window stopped is designed to block windows which open up or sideways.
Now take the Prime Line Products Sliding Window Lock pictured below:
While we do like the die-cast finish and subtle look of this window stopper, the question arises where customers might wonder if a child could detach this window stopper if they could reach it?
The answer is yes, these types of window guards are not impossible to remove, although most children probably wouldn't go so far as to try. Basically, certain window stoppers are made to prevent much younger children from opening them, and so all you need to do is put them out of reach and you will have no problem.
Depending on how secure you want them to be, you might want to opt for a window stopper which attaches with screws, so it can not be removed so easily by an older child who sees this window guard as more of a challenge.
Of course, then you are talking about putting holes in your wall, which amounts to damage. When these window stoppers are removed, you'll have holes to show for it. Therefore, you may want to go with a window stopper that uses a different method of attachement
One more solution for this comes in the form of the Cresci Products window wedge, pictured below:
This window wedge is made of durable, impact resistant, ABS Plastic and it has a tapered groove on the bottom that holds a strip of (Velcro Brand) hook material that mates with an 8 inch strip of (Velcro Brand) peel and stick loop material. It is impact resistant and fully adjustable. This is the perfect kind of stopper to use with a gliding or double hung window, but not so much for an awning, which swings open outward.
Overall, there are many options that you have which can act as simple and cost effective ways to make your windows more safe for your children. We recommend you have a good look at all your options before you buy, to make sure they will prove to be effective for you, but at the same time, its good to know that these devices aren't going to break the bank.
About Robert Fox
Rob Fox is a former hydro worker who used to teach self defence in Miami for 10 years. He's currently enjoying his retirement, playing cribbage and golf with his buddies, locksmithing and home security in his spare time. Rob is an avid reader, and has even written a few books on the subject of self defence.