12 effective ways to childproof your windows and doors
Want to ensure your children are as safe as possible in your home? Here are 12 effective ways to childproof your windows and doors.
Of the millions of injuries among children yearly, about 3,300 result from unsafe windows and doors. They include falls through windows and other accidents from kids wandering off through open exits at home.
Unfortunately, children are naturally curious and want to access an open door or window whenever possible. But as a parent, you must prioritise their safety by taking proactive measures to childproof these exits in your home and prevent accidents. And there are several ways you can do so.
Here are 12 effective ways to childproof your windows and doors.
1) Install window stops to restrict opening
Your windows may come with screens, but those alone are not enough to stop curious little toddlers from falling through your windows. Of course, a window screen offers some sense of security, but they don’t secure your child indoors.
Make sure that you install window stops if these areas are low enough for your child to reach them. A window stop will eliminate the risk of a toddler falling through, even with screens installed. This way, you can keep your windows partially open without worrying about your child’s safety.
2) Stow your window cords
If you have blinds on your windows, they probably come with cords that open and close the blinds. If possible, upgrade to cordless blinds to protect your children. While cords on blinds appear harmless, they pose some hidden risks. For example, your playful child can easily become entangled in them and potentially block their air supply.
Find a way to keep the cords away from your child’s reach. You can install an out-of-reach hook on the window’s surrounding wall and wrap the cord on it.
3) Install window guards
You can install window guards on the interior and exterior of your windows to protect your child from the risk of falls and other injuries from open windows. These guards will stop your toddler from climbing out of a window, acting as a barrier to prevent accidental falls.
Window guards will also prevent them from accessing dangerous areas outside your home, like your balcony or ledges. While guards will childproof your windows, you must ensure they are properly installed and maintained for maximum protection.
4) Install double-pane glass
Most old homes come with single-pane glass doors and windows. If that’s what you have, consider upgrading to double-pane glass as a worthwhile childproofing method. Because most single-pane glass windows and doors are older, they tend to be more prone to wear and damage, requiring repairs or replacement. Double-pane glass offers better protection for your child in addition to being energy-efficient.
5) Consider child safety window locks and door locks
A reliable window-locking system is a crucial part of window safety. The most suitable option will depend on the design or style of your windows. But regardless, look into a window lock system with a key. This way, you can lock your windows and keep the keys away from your child when needed.
Regarding your doors, invest in proper door locks that require a code. You don’t want your toddler opening and closing doors when you’re not around. They can easily wander away from home or get injured. For example, a slamming door can bruise a toddler’s fingers.
6) Keep furniture pieces away from your windows
Teaching your child may not be enough to stop them from climbing furniture pieces in your absence, especially when they’re just toddlers. So, always keep tables, chairs, bookshelves, etc, away from your windows.
Kids love to climb stuff, and placing furniture near a window gives them more reasons to access it. And the easier it is for your child to access a window, the greater the risk of them falling through it.
7) Invest in window and door alarms
Sometimes tracking your child’s every movement is difficult, especially when you’re busy. Fortunately, you can invest in window and door alarms to alert you if your little one tries to access the door or open windows.
You can even find alarm systems with motion sensors that will alert you before your child gets too close to any exit. They can also notify when a door or window opens, helping to keep adventurous children from wandering off or falling. Even better, a window and door alarm will warn you if an unwanted visitor or intruder tries to access your home from outside.
Another thing that will help you track your child’s movement is a peephole. You can add them to doors inside your home to monitor your child’s activity in other rooms. This way, you wouldn’t have to install alarms on every door in your home.
8) Cover door hinges
Because kids, especially toddlers, are naturally curious, they may try to explore the space around them, including doors and hinges. But door hinges are danger zones when not properly secured. So, cover them with hinge protectors to prevent your child’s fingers from getting caught in the door.
This offers additional protection for your child, stopping them from getting their fingers or hands caught in the hinge area.
This simple safety measure can prevent painful injuries and keep your child safe while they explore their surroundings. Have experts install the hinge covers to be sure it’s done properly. Additionally, install door stops to prevent doors from closing on your child’s fingers.
9) Consider door chains and knob covers
Door chains are simple but very effective. They can prevent your child from opening the doors fully to sneak out in your absence. And because they allow you to open the door slightly while keeping it locked, they prevent forceful entry, burglary, intrusion, or other crimes that can put your child in danger.
You can also invest in door knob covers to keep your little one from opening doors and wandering off or accidentally locking themselves in other rooms.
10) Repair or replace old glass doors and windows
If your windows and glass doors are over 20 years old, you should replace them immediately if you have a toddler at home. While the glass may not degrade, the components around them will do so with age. For example, if your glass windows have wooden frames, the wood can rot, break, and weaken with time. Your locking mechanisms can also lose their effectiveness when they get sticky with age.
11) Install glazing bars on your windows
Glazing bars are horizontal or vertical bars that divide a windowpane into smaller sections. They can be an effective way to childproof your windows, as they make it more difficult for adventurous kids to climb up and potentially fall out of the window.
Glazing bars also serve as a visual barrier, allowing you to see when your windows are open or closed. They can also prevent children from accidentally pushing against the windowpane and breaking it while providing extra safety and security. You can always shop the range of glazing bar systems from trusted dealers and hire experts to install them on your windows.
12) Teach your children about safety rules
Your children are not too young to learn some safety rules regarding windows and doors, which will protect them from danger. For example, not opening doors to strangers can prevent instances of abduction, burglary, or other crimes that can put your child in danger.
Also, remind your child to stop climbing on furniture near windows. Doing this can prevent falls or other accidents. You can help your little ones develop the knowledge and skills to protect themselves and make better decisions in challenging situations. That will ease your worry and stress when your child is playing unsupervised.
Photo by Vitolda Klein