Children, with their unrelenting curiosity, often get into dangerous situations. It's not a stretch to think they may lean or push against the window screen to have a better view of the world outside. Avoid this possibility through the installation of window guards to prevent children from falling outside. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines specify the correct manner of using window guards to protect your children.
Window guards are removable bars made of aluminium or steel installed in windows. With a window guard in place, you can leave the windows open without any fear of your child falling out. These guards are different from burglar or security bars, which are sometimes wide enough to allow a child to slip through. Although your windows may be fitted with a screen, remember that it can only keep insects out, not keep your child in. Window guards on the other hand, are designed to be strong enough to withstand the pressure a child may exert, making them extremely effective in preventing falls.
You can screw the window guards securely into the window frame sides. The space between bars should be not more than 4 inches so that a child does not have space to accidentally or deliberately slip through. The installation of these guards varies with the type of the window. For example, if you have a double hung window, install the window guards in the bottom half, but if you have a crank style window, you need to cover the entire open space. You can use locks to secure the windows, or to prevent them opening to a distance more than 4 inches.
CPSC Guidelines for Window Guards
Install window guards in accordance with the guidelines the CPSC provides. For windows up to the sixth floor, install window guards that can be opened easily by adults or older children to allow access to fire rescue personnel in the event of a fire. Window guards can be of the permanent, immovable type on windows above the seventh floor. It is best to install window guards on all windows that are accessible to your child. Window stops that restrict windows from opening more than 4 inches can be used in place of window guards.
You can buy window guards from local home maintenance and hardware stores. The size of the guard you need depends on the size of your windows. The CPSC website lists contact details of companies such as John Sterling Corporation, LL Building Products and Automatic Specialties from whom you can procure the window guards. Guard prices vary, depending on the size and type of your windows.