More than 4,000 children are injured by falling from a window and approximately 10 children die from such falls every year. Good Morning America's Home Improvement Editor Ron Hazelton offers some tips to prevent these devastating accidents from happening. Before checking out his tips, please read the correction below.
Correction: On Good Morning America Thursday, Ron Hazelton demonstrated how to install window guards on sliding windows. The guards Hazelton used, which are manufactured by Guardian Angel Window Guards, should be vertically applied to sliding windows and NOT horizontally, as demonstrated. For complete directions on how to install window guards on sliding windows, please go to the manufacturer's Web site: http://www.auspin.com/gainstall.htm
Control Furniture Placement Keep furniture that kids can climb on away from windows. A child can use it to get closer to the window.
Safe Play Areas Don't create play areas in front of windows. Instead, set them up inside the room. If there are windows in the play room, make sure they can't be opened by children. If children can drag chairs or toys near the room's window, they must be secure.
Install Window Guards All windows in homes where children reside should have window guards. However, these guards need to be removable by an adult in a fire emergency.
Block Openings If you're not using window guards, you must find a safe way to restrict the window's opening. Two devices will allow the window to open four inches for ventilation, but no futher. The Super Stopper, made by Parent Units, is a suction device that can be installed on the top section of the window. As you try to raise the lower window, a wedge jams it so you can only raise it so far. Mag Security makes another option, a flip-up plastic stop. When you flip it out it comes into contact with the lower window so you can only raise it up so far. Another possibility is to open the upper window for ventilation and leave the bottom one closed.
A Screen Is Not Safe If your windows have screens, that doesn't make them safe. You can't rely on window screens as window guards because they're not strong enough to keep a person, even a child, from falling out.
*Hazelton also demonstrated how to guard windows using cables that are designed to prevent furniture from tipping. These cables work for windows that crank open and they can be purchased in most home improvement stores. The furniture cable used on the show is manufactured by MaCaw, Inc. in Anaheim, Calif. (macawinc.com.)