Are your sash windows safe for children? It’s something many parents are rightly concerned about. The statistics show that ten children die each year due to a fall in a home, with most of these cases involving stairs or windows. Children are naturally curious and like to explore, which can make sash windows an accident waiting to happen if proper precautions are not taken.
Fortunately, if you do have sash windows, there are lots of measures you can implement to ensure your children are safe from harm.
Sash window child safety basics
You’ll be pleased to know that your children can be perfectly safe around sash windows as long as long as you take the right steps. Your main options are either to ensure that your windows can’t be opened far enough for your children to fall out, or to prevent your children getting too close to your windows.
Sash window safety restrictors
Closed sash windows can be easy for children to open. Sash windows which are already open can be opened further, until the gap is large enough for a child to fall through.
The simplest way to make sash windows childproof is to install child safety window restrictors. These devices are little bolts which sit at the side of the top part of your sash window and stop it opening too far. A gap of 10 centimeters is a good guideline to prevent a child falling through the window. The restrictors are operated using a key, and they’re fitted at a height that young children will be unable to reach.
Sash window safety guards
Another option is to prevent your children from coming close to a sash window at all, even one that’s open very slightly. Window safety guards are grilles which work on the same principle as the child safety gates on staircases, by creating a physical barrier that your child cannot cross. The bars of the grille are narrow enough to stop any child from climbing through.
Window guards are attached to the inside of your window and can be unlocked and removed when unrestricted access to the window is required.
General safety measures
You should also be aware of the following general safety measures to keep your children from harm:
- Locking your sash windows is a sure method to ensure your children cannot accidentally open them. Make sure that the keys are kept out of your children’s reach, but keep them accessible in case the window needs to be opened in an emergency.
- A window wedge is a simple, inexpensive device which can be used to wedge your window shut.
- A charley bar can be attached to the top and bottom sash. When locked it will stop the sashes from moving. The bar can be easily unlocked when you need to open the window.
- Children love climbing so it’s important to move any furniture, such as sofas and tables, away from your sash windows in case your children climb on top of them. Ensure there are no lighter furniture items around which can be stacked on top of each other to form a makeshift ladder.
- Only have your sash windows open when an adult is present and watching.