In response to the ongoing tragedy of children falling out of windows, the Injury Prevention Program launched a campaign to educate communities about window falls prevention and promotes the use of child safety window guards.
Falls are the leading cause of injury to children age five and under. It only takes seconds for a fall to occur. Window falls can cause serious injuries, yet they can be prevented. By combining education and engineering, we protect children from dangerous falls.
- Lock all unopened doors and windows
- Keep beds, furniture, and anything a child can climb on away from windows
- Open windows from the top, not from the bottom
- Install child safety window guards
- Be sure children are always supervised
Child Safety Window Guards
- Aluminum or steel bars with a maximum four inch spacing that are installed in the window frame.
- Designed and tested to withstand 150 pounds of pressure.
- Recommended for the second story and above and for the first floor if the window is over 12 feet high.
- Not required by law in Massachusetts. but are recommended in homes with children age six and under.
- Cannot be substituted with window screens, which are designed to keep out insects and bugs but are NOT strong enough to keep a child from falling out.
Operable Window Guards
- Releasable or removable from the inside without the use of separate tools, a key, or excessive force.
- Can be installed on all windows, including those on which fixed window guards cannot be used.
- Recommended by the Boston Fire Department because they have a release feature that allows escape in case of an emergency.
- Fixed (permanent) guards or window locks can also be used to restrict the window openings to less than four inches. One window in each room needs to be free of these devices in order to allow for emergency escape.
- Child safety window guards are NOT the same as burglar/security bars. Security bars are wide enough to allow a child to slip through and should not be used as a safety window guard. Child safety window guards are not designed to protect against intruders.
Get Window Guards
Many local hardware stores and home improvement stores carry window guards.
Low-cost window guards are available for Boston residents at:
Boston Building Resources
100 Terrace St.
Boston, MA 02120
How to Install Window Guards
“Taking Action to Protect Our Children” Brochure
Download a copy of the Taking Action to Protect Our Children brochure in English or in Spanish. Or request educational materials using this form.