Childproofing Windows and Preventing Accidental Falls

Mother and baby boy looking out window
Window Safety. Sam Edwards / Getty Images

Preventing falls from windows is important; the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's Window Safety Tips For National Window Safety Week 2018 estimates falls from windows result in an average of about eight deaths annually of children five years or younger. Approximately 3,300, children ages five and younger, are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency departments.

Additionally, a 2011 study in Pediatrics concluded that falls from windows "are an important pediatric public health problem, and increased prevention efforts are needed, including development and evaluation of innovative prevention programs."

Childproofing Your Windows

Fortunately, you have options to prevent accidental falls from windows, including:

  • A window guard or gate - Bars that are installed on the bottom part of a window to keep a child from falling out when the window is open.
  • A window stop or wedge - Window opening control devices that prevent a window from opening more than 4 inches.

The main downside to using a window stop or wedge is that you will have to leave the windows mostly shut.

A window guard or gate offers the added benefit that you can open the windows and still not have to worry about your child falling through them. Many window guards have emergency release buttons so that they can be quickly removed in case of a fire.

Or consider some combination of the two childproofing methods, installing window guards on a few windows that you often open for ventilation, and locks or wedges on the others windows that you usually keep closed.

Window Safety to Prevent Falls

To keep your children safe, in addition childproofing your windows, you should also:

  • Not allow your children to play around windows, even if they are closed since they can be hurt if they fall through the glass of a closed window
  • Not rely on screens to keep your kids from falling — kids often push out screens on their way out the window
  • Install windows that can open from the top, instead of the bottom, if possible
  • Keep furniture away from windows, so that your children aren't tempted to climb on them
  • Remember that even falls from one story windows can cause injuries
  • Consider installing landscaping under windows that might cushion a fall
  • Use non-corded window blinds to prevent strangulation hazards

Also keep in mind that if you are installing a window guard, if you are below the 6th floor, you should install one that can be easily opened by adults and older children in case of a fire. Otherwise, if you were on the 7th floor or above, you could install a permanent window guard.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Harris V, Rochette L, Smith G. Pediatric Injuries Attributable to Falls From Windows in the United States in 1990-2008Pediatrics. 2011;128(3). doi:10.1542/peds.2010-2687d.


  2. Kanton G. A Window to Safety. Safe Kids Worldwide. Published March 31, 2014.


  3. Mack KA, Liller KD, Baldwin G, Sleet D. Preventing unintentional injuries in the home using the Health Impact PyramidHealth Educ Behav. 2015;42(1 Suppl):115S–122S. doi:10.1177/1090198114568306


  4. Hussain N, Mewasingh L, Gosalakkal J. Is the heat wave increasing the number of falls from open windows among children?Arch Dis Child. 2007;92(1):90. doi:10.1136/adc.2006.107219


  5. Peden M. Falls. World Report on Child Injury Prevention. Published 2008.


Additional Reading

  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Safety Council. CPSC: Parents, Caregivers Should Consider Safety Before Opening Windows. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Published August 23, 2016.