As part of National Window Safety Week, April 1-7, 2012, the experts recommend parents of youngsters adopt an extremely cautious attitude with children and the windows in their home. Children should be taught at a young age to stay away from windows for their own safety.
Parents can help safeguard children in the home by keeping furniture (including cribs) and anything else a child can climb on, away from windows. And, if your home has Double Hung windows, open only the top part of the window that children cannot reach, to allow for ventilation.
Here are a few tips for window safety in the home:
1. Remember the primary purpose of a window screen is to keep insects outside. Never push on screens, as they will not support the weight of a child or family pet.
2. Lock windows when not in use to protect against intruders and make it more difficult for curious young children to open windows.
3. Do not paint or nail windows shut. Every window in the home that is designed to be opened should be operational in case of an emergency.
4. Refrain from nailing or attaching decorative lights to the interior or exterior of window frames.
5. Plant shrubs or grass, and place “soft landscaping” like bark or mulch, directly underneath windows to help lessen the impact should someone accidently fall out of a window.
It is also recommended that homeowners make certain that their homes have windows with clear openings that meet egress requirements in the living spaces as required by state and local building codes. Egress windows provide emergency exits in your home during a fire. Make sure your home has the proper amount of egress windows in every room used as a bedroom and on any floor or basement level with habitable living space.