Childproofing is a job that parents must tackle before their baby becomes mobile. Most people baby-proof electrical sockets, bathroom toilets and vanities and provide barriers to staircases. Balconies are another household structure that warrant childproofing, even if you think your child is never going to be out on a balcony alone. According to ConsumerAffairs.com, unprotected balconies can be a danger to children, sometimes with catastrophic results.
Measure the width of the slats if your balcony is constructed from a fencelike railing with multiple openings. BabyCenter reports that your child could squeeze through the balcony railings if the openings are more than 4 inches apart from one another.
Minimise the spaces between balcony railings with plastic fencing, available at your local home improvement store. Attach the fencing to a wooden balcony with screws, or a metal structure with plastic cord ties or bungee cords. Place the fencing against the railing -- on the outside of the structure, if possible-- so that the openings are less than 4 inches wide, and secure it tightly so little fingers can't pry the fencing off of the balcony.
Cover open areas with hard plastic sheeting to childproof your balcony. Measure the height of the balcony as well as the overall length to have your sheets cut at a home improvement store -- or you can do it yourself with a saw. Place the sized sheets on the inside of the balcony and secure with screws or cord ties. You'll still need to watch your child, but at least she won't be able to slip through the railing.
Tie a swath of sturdy deck netting onto your balcony as an alternative to plastic sheeting, or to protect your child from the open spaces above a low balcony. Secure the netting to the sides of the balcony as well as the overhang or roof above you. The netting lets in light and air, but will keep your little one from falling.
In addition to eliminating dangers of balcony railings, examine your balcony each season for other structural damage that can lead to accidents. Make repairs to any sections of rotting wood, rust or railings that have loosened.
Tips and warnings
- In addition to eliminating dangers of balcony railings, examine your balcony each season for other structural damage that can lead to accidents. Make repairs to any sections of rotting wood, rust or railings that have loosened.