Every year, people open pages of the newspaper to find tragic stories of children falling out of open windows. Windows, when it comes to child safety, are enemies. While it’s easy to assume the parents or babysitter simply committed a huge lapse in judgment, the windows are, quite frankly, the pane: it’s impossible to watch a child every second of every day. Keeping the windows secure is the answer.

It’s not only the fall from a window that endangers a child. Even first floor windows can pose a problem. Some clever and curious children find that ground level windows or basement windows serve as a route of escape, an escape that, in the form of a congested street or getting lost, can lead to danger. For this reason, whether high and low, childproofing all windows is simply part of parenthood. The following tips can help you to do just that:

Don’t rely on the screen: Screens, even when they are top of the line, aren’t very strong. Their intent is to keep insects and debris out, not keep children in. Even if your windows have screens, don’t assume that they will catch a falling child. They are more likely to break under a child’s weight, than they are to hold the weight of nearly anything.

Secure your Window with Childproof Latches and Window Guards: Windows are often a route of escape during emergencies, such as fires or burglaries. Because of this, windows shouldn’t be secured with locks or latches that are hard for everyone to manipulate, they should just be secured with those hard for small children to manipulate. Many online sites and stores offer a variety of latches and guards, some that keep the window closed entirely and some that allow your child to open it just a few inches.

Keep Objects Away from Windows: If there is one thing small children love to do, its bang things against each other. From toy hammers to spoons, from rattles to pots and pans, a child can find bliss in hitting things. One thing you don’t want them hitting, however, is a window. Though a child might not appear to have the strength to break a window, if the window is old, or only single paned, it will break with much less force than you think. Help make this unlikely by keeping certain objects, such as baseballs and golf clubs, away from windows.

Don’t Leave Windows Inviting to Children: Just as children are taught that a stove is potentially dangerous or to stay away from matches, they should also be taught that windows can be trouble. This doesn’t mean they need to be scarred for life, turning into adults afraid of glass. But, they should know that windows aren’t anything to play with or around. Along these lines, toys or other items appealing to children shouldn’t be left on window sills: as children reach for these things, an accident could be caused.

Windows may appear as one of the most unthreatening things to a child’s safety. While this may be the case, it isn’t always. In the end, it’s better to “screen” this part of your house for safety issues.