In this article, we answer the following question: How to child proof a balcony? We talk about the best systems to put in place in order to babyproof your windows and balcony.
How to child proof a balcony
To child proof a balcony you will have to install certified safety nets on all the windows in your house, inclusive on door balconies. Never use permanent bars that pose an obstacle in case of an emergency evacuation.
If you cannot install the nets in any of these spaces, child safety locks are a good ally.
At this point we recall the importance of using garden fences, as well as the delimitations of balconies and terraces that are suitable for the little ones, meeting the following requirements to avoid entrapment, suffocation, wounds and cuts.
Thus make sure that the safety nets that you use to child proof a balcony are:
- Made of non-toxic, shatterproof, non-sharp materials or conductors of heat or electricity.
- Its components cannot be harmful to contact (splinter) or contain removable elements (screws, anchors, etc.).
- If it is barred they will NEVER be horizontal since they are scalable.
- The distance between vertical bars, as well as any existing gap (lateral, upper or lower), must not exceed 10 cm.
- The fence must incorporate an upper crossbar that prevents a child from inserting the neck between the bars: the maximum distance between the upper horizontal part and the crossbar must not exceed 4 cm.
If the delimitations of our balconies allow objects to be thrown outwards, which may cause accidents to other people (children and adults) who pass through the street, we must cover the existing gaps with a safety net for balconies (that does not allow climbing ) to avoid it.
The protection of minors at home is one of the great concerns of parents, especially new ones. Windows are dangerous because children’s curiosity invites them to look out regardless of the danger it poses.
All the windows in a home are potentially dangerous, but not to the same extent, to evaluate the ones in your home you have to take into account some details that will also help you with the most appropriate elements in each case.
The shape and size of the window
Large windows that start low or very close to the floor and reach the ceiling are perfect for bringing light to a room; However, they are also the most dangerous for children because even those who are not walking – months old – can easily reach them and peek out. This type of window must always be secured when there are children in the house.
The most common windows in a home are high above the ground and it is difficult for a child to reach them, although you should consider the possibility of him getting on a chair or any other element, the curiosity of children is very creative and unsafe in these kinds of situations.
Small windows such as those in some toilets or bathrooms, also those that are placed on ceilings or covers are the least dangerous in terms of children so you may not need to secure or block them.
The type of window that you have to secure is also important, some elements only serve for the sliding doors, while others are designed for those with two oscillating and/or hinged leaves.
The accessibility and location of the windows
When you assess the danger of the windows in your house, you also have to think about where they are; It is not the same that the window is in a bedroom with little use or traffic than those that are in the child’s room, the living room or the child’s play area.
The windows that are under beds, next to chairs … are much more accessible for a minor and those that are in their play places as well. These are the ones that must be secured in a special way and with stronger elements to avoid danger.
The use of blinds and railings
Windows with shutters or those that are protected with external railings are safer for everyone. However, you have to think that if you rely only on the protective effect of the blind, you will have to always have it down and make sure that the child does not know how to move it.
Blinds can be a security resource for a specific moment or example, for a rental or vacation home, a hotel or some temporary place where the child is for a short time, but it is not the best way to be calm in a home where babies usually live.
Some people do not open the windows at home often; however, at the other extreme are families who love to enjoy a home with always open windows. These types of customs are important to assess the type of window insurance that will be most practical for your windows.
The best systems to add security to windows and balconies
Stops for sliding windows
If you have window sashes that run on the track, there are simple steps that can block movement so that children do not fit through the gap that you leave free to ventilate, for example.
This type of element is cheap, easy to install and parents agree in recommending it as efficient since it ensures that the child cannot look out or go out to a terrace or balcony.
Placing these sliding window stops is very simple and only to remove or move them it is necessary to use a special screwdriver or wrench. The main disadvantage is that if you need to use the window or door daily with the stopper fully open, it does not allow it and removing and putting on is often impractical.
Adhesive opening restrictors
These types of elements are for casement windows and you can also use them for doors or cabinet doors. They are extremely popular, the cheapest and easiest to install. One part is placed on the window frame and another on the sash, so that the window cannot be opened more than a few centimetres, just enough to let in air and what the strap or piece of plastic that joins both parts allows.
Although this type of insurance is also used for windows, security experts do not recommend it for large or heavy windows, only for furniture or cabinets. The adhesive is usually not resistant for a long time and not pressure if children try to open the window, especially older ones.
Windows with lock and key
Changing window handles does not seem like a very simple job, however, if you have standard windows it is easy and without a doubt, it is the safest and most comfortable way to prevent a child from opening a window.
In specialized stores, you can get lockable handles for the windows and it is only necessary to disassemble the ones that have yours and change them for these others. The windows are locked so they are inscrutable for the little ones.
The disadvantage of this type of window protection is that when the window has to be opened, the security disappears completely. That is, the lockable handles are interesting to prevent children from opening the windows on their own, but if the adult releases it with the key, the hole is fully accessible.
The option of protecting the windows with meshes or nets that avoid the vacuum fall is one way to make the windows more secure. Installation requires a hole in the facade or sides of the window and they are not the best option aesthetically.
This is a common resource to make terraces or balconies somewhat safer if you want to use them as a play area, but security experts remember that it is important to always keep an adult vigilant even if you have nets.
Bars and security bars
The bars are a traditional security element in the windows, not only for children but also to prevent criminals from entering from the outside. However, the bars make the windows impractical even in times of emergency, for example, if a fire breaks out inside the house.
Unless gates are put in place that opens and closes with a key and still makes a possible rescue through the window difficult and slower.
Security bars for windows are the most invasive measure, also the most expensive and definitive to protect a window. The aesthetic change in the facade of your home will be noticeable and if it is part of a residential floor, you may need approval or permission from the community.
The bars are not a common recommendation if you only need to protect the smallest of the windows, but it is an alternative to assess if it is the most suitable for you.
Window security bars
As for the interior of the house, it is recommended to put a security barrier, for the windows, there are similar elements that make the windows safe and at the same time, they can be opened and closed without fear.
There is a great variety of these barriers that have an average price of $150 and that you have to buy them according to the size and type of window so that they fit firmly into the gap. They are the preferred option for many families because they allow having the windows of the house open and at the same time not be afraid because children are much less likely to fall since the bars slow down.
Now you know that the catalogue of devices and security elements for windows is as wide as it is versatile to respond to the needs of all families, but do not lose sight of the fact that none of them is infallible and that only the constant surveillance of the minor and caution will allow you to avoid serious accidents.
One last piece of advice: observe your children and their behaviour and do not trust them, windows are not as interesting to a month-old child as to one who begins to walk. It is easy that you will have to change your protection strategy as the child grows older and has more strength and dexterity.
Complete the protective action of window security elements with education and the institution of safety regulations: it is important to constantly educate the child about the danger of leaning.
In practice, some parents claim that their children have never been attracted to windows, while others live constantly in fear of the interest that children have in windows, each child is different and goes through their phases of exploration of the world, insurance. Stay alert and bet on prevention, never leaving surveillance, even if you have security elements on the windows.
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FAQ on How to child proof a balcony
How do you make a balcony safe?
To make a balcony safe for your child you have to use certified safety nets on all the windows in your house, inclusive on door balconies. Never use permanent bars that pose an obstacle in case of an emergency evacuation.
How do you stop balcony gaps?
To stop balcony gaps from representing a danger, you must cover them with a safety net for balconies (that does not allow climbing ) in order to avoid future accidents.
How do you enclose an open balcony?
To enclose a balcony you can use outdoor curtains or instal wood roll up blinds. You can also use various screens to make your balcony childproof.
How do I keep my child safe outside?
To keep your child safe outside you should never leave them alone and unsupervised. Establish clear rules and teach children not to play near a street, not to jump into the water when there is no adult around. Explain to them that they must ask for help if the toys roll into the street. Also, make sure you give them a safe environment to play in.
Can baby gates be used outside?
Yes, baby gates can be used outside on the patriots, decks and in the garden. Safety gates are ideal to keep your baby safe both outdoors and inside.