So you’ve done almost everything you feel you need to in the house to create a safer environment for the children or the baby who is arriving soon.
You’ve made safety modifications to the stairs, secured corner guards on all the sharp protruding corners of furniture, and you’ve even laminated a safety checklist beside the front door so that you can have a check before going out.
What else is there? Have you missed out anything? How about the windows?
The windows is one of those home fixtures that often get overlooked for safety.
Partly because parents often think that it is not possible to make modifications to it since it’s affixed to the wall. And that as long as they keep it closed or has a railing, it is fine.
You probably don’t need any reminder that babies are vulnerable.
But many don’t realize that as small as a 5-inch opening on a window is big enough for a baby to fall through.
While common sense tells us that we should keep windows closed when there are children or babies around the house, enforcing this behavior is not as easy as it sounds.
Sometimes you just feel that little stuffy in the living room. And since you are in the house, you feel that the circumstances to open the windows just that little will pose no danger.
This is an example of how accidents happen.
I’ve seen with my own eyes of homeowners who install window screens in place of railings. Even if the parents have full confidence in their competence, baby behavior can be unpredictable.
And they can often get to places that seem impossible to begin with.
1) Window guards
A very basic and effective way to manage this potential safety hazard is to install window guards.
Window guards are grill-like structures securely attached to the sides of windows. This makes it impossible for people to fall out of the window.
Because you are protecting your little ones, be mindful that the bars are no more than 4 inches apart.
It’s not time to relent. Install them on every window.
The thing you have to note about installing window guards is fire safety.
Because the firemen use windows to access houses in the event of a building fire, window guards can actually trap people inside or prevent the firemen from getting in.
This is why if you are living between the first and sixth level of a high-rise apartment, the window guards you install should have a emergency release mechanism that enable adults and teenagers to easily open the windows.
Permanent window guards are usually only used for the seventh floor and above.
Saying that, do check the local fire and building codes before proceeding with the installation.
The last thing you want to to install them thinking that you are keeping your kids safe, but it does not comply with safety standards determined by the authorities.
The costs of setting them up can go between $120 to $300 per window depending on various factors.
If you find that will results in smashing your household budget, then at least take a look at some alternatives.
2) Window stoppers
Stoppers are one of those inventions that make total practical sense and don’t cost an arm and a leg to buy.
As long as they are functional and not defective, they can often be enough to give parents peace of mind.
These are small devices that are fixed to the insides of windows so as to only allow them to open up to 4 inches.
This is so that you can still open the windows for ventilation while keeping the children safe at the same time.
They are easily available in hardware stores and can be installed DIY style if you want.
3) Sliding windows
Sliding windows are getting very popular with new homes these days.
Although they are a tad safer than the conventional push-pull windows, they can be easily opened to it’s maximum width if unlocked.
You don’t need a lot of strength to slide them open!
So if you have these windows, either get the catches installed too high for kids to reach, or better yet, use a typical padlock to lock the catch.
Another hazard is that because sliding windows don’t have frames within the the panels, sometimes people can think that it is open when in fact, it’s closed.
To prevent the kids from knocking themselves silly by walking into them, you might want consider pasting something on the window panes so that they can see it when it’s closed.
A lot of parents put a lot of time into safety with regards to furniture. And with that focus, they lose sight of fixtures like windows and doors.
Avoid doing that.
As a final thought, remember that the most basic practice for safety regarding windows is to keep them closed whenever there are children in the house. Safety hacks and devices should be solely depended upon to keep the baby safe from falling out of the house.