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Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Childproofing Slider Windows

by Barbara 2. May 2003 15:52

Question about window guards for a wide, tall sliding window.

Q: "We have large, sliding windows. One side of each window slides horizontally. The inside measurement (ie, the actual "screen" itself - this measurement does not include any window framing, etc) of the screens are: 61" high, 30" wide. I want to be sure to purchase the correct window guard. Do we have to cover the entire opening of the screen? That seems excessive to me. I was thinking that the guard would need to come up as high as a standard safety gate would - but maybe I am wrong. Please let me know if you have what we need. Sincerely, Kimberly"

Answer:
Dear Kimberly,

To childproof a slider window or a casement (wind out) window, the only safe way is to cover the entire window opening with one or more vertically mounted guards spaced side by side with a 4 inch or less space between them. Yes, this means the guard looks like prison bars. Otherwise a child could use a horizontally installed guard as a ladder and climb over the guard and fall out. In order to slide both sides of your window, you will need to stack guards side by side to cover the entire window. To determine the size that you need, please go to our window guard sizing and selection page.

There was a sad situation in New Jersey a few months back. A child fell OVER a horizontally mounted window guard through the screen. It was a slider window. I was contacted by a man who was going to testify about this tragedy. Horizontal window guards are made for single hung or double hung windows: a window stop can be used to stop that window from opening above the guard so the child cannot climb over. Sometimes, parents will protect the entire window if it is next to a bed or sofa where a child might fall against the window and break the glass.

Since this was originally published in 2003, Safe Home has added a second window guard line, the John Sterling line. These are expanding window guards, not telescoping ones. The window guard sizes range include sizes from an 11 inch window guard that expands to 24-42 inches to a 6 bar guard that expands from 58 inches to 76 inches. Some units are fixed ones that can be modified to swing open egress or escape window guards with accessories such as a locking channel for a six bar basic window and a safety release pin to pull out so the window can swing open.

Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions or want to childproof a number of windows in your home.

Sincerely, Barbara