Children often get so involved in their play that they forget to follow the basic safety rules that you have outlined. While your child knows not to throw baseballs in the direction of your house, it’s very likely that at some point, one somehow managed to go through the window. Dealing with a broken window is never fun, but you can follow these steps to replace the glass in your home’s window frame, while properly reprimanding and caring for your child.
Check for Injuries
The first thing you want to do is make sure that no one is hurt. Hopefully, no one was near the window when it was broken, and your child ran to get an adult instead of trying to pick up glass with bare hands. If anyone is hurt, apply first aid and consider the need for medical attention. As long as everyone is okay, you can move on to the next step. Don’t be too hard on your child, even though you will likely be frustrated—chances are, he or she knows exactly how much trouble they caused and are already feeling guilty. Be gentle and let them know you care for their safety first. Discipline can come later.
Clean Up Dangerous Shards
Glass clean-up must be done carefully to avoid getting hurt. Start by clearing the area of pets and children. Then, use a dust pan and broom to sweep up glass that is on hard surfaces. A vacuum can be used for smaller pieces of glass or any that are on the carpet. Large pieces can be picked up and thrown away, but be careful and use thick gloves. Shards can be much sharper than you are expecting, and it’s always better to be safe.
Arrange for Professional Glass Replacement
The next step will be to call for someone to replace your window. A professional glazier will be able to replace the glass in the window using special techniques that ensure a perfect fit. They can also help you decide if you need to choose glass that is more resistant to breakage. For instance, tempered glass is made to be stronger than regular glass, and it breaks into small pieces that are easier to pick up if something does hit it.
Put Up Temporary Protection
While you wait for the glass to be replaced, you need to make sure that the inside of your home is protected from the elements. Depending upon your location, you can cut a board to fit the empty space as a temporary measure. If you do not anticipate heavy wind or rain, then a sheet of plastic can suffice until the glass replacement technician arrives. Some other protection alternatives could include a heavy tarp, a rug or towel, or even plastic bags taped together.
Review Safety Rules with Your Child
Broken windows present an opportunity to go over the safety rules for outdoor play with your child again. Talk to your child about how the accident happened, and help them come up with some ideas to prevent it from happening again. For instance, your child may confine baseball practice to areas that are away from glass, or they could throw the ball in a different direction. This is also a good time to discuss disciplinary measures. Yelling or getting angry will only scare your child. As a general rule, a good punishment is one that reinforces the consequences of your child’s actions. So for instance, the room with the broken glass may be off-limits to them while its fixed, or balls and thrown toys may be banned for a short while.
As a parent, there is nothing more frightening than to hear the sound of breaking glass when your kids are playing outside. While cleaning up a broken window is upsetting, it is also good to remember that they are repairable. Knowing how to quickly clean up the glass and get it replaced allows you to focus on talking to your child about the best ways to protect your home from damage.