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balconies and small children

(28 Posts)
beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 19:35:30

The place I will be renting next year has a balcony (sounds much posher than it is!). Is ds(4.5) going to throw himself off it? What can I do to make it as safe as possible?

Twiglett Mon 15-Sep-08 19:36:48

has a balcony with railing at what height?

CarGirl Mon 15-Sep-08 19:38:02

Don't leave things on the balcony they can use to stand/climb on to lean over the edge of the railings.

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 19:39:01

The top railing would be ds's head height, but there is quite a big gap between that and the next one down.

CarGirl Mon 15-Sep-08 19:40:00

ARe they horizontal or vertical railings?

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 19:42:35

2 horizontal, then vertical ones about 1m apart. It does sound really dangerous now I think about it. Could I put some kind of netting on? If the landlord lets me.

SoupDragon Mon 15-Sep-08 19:45:25

Don't ever let him out there alone and when you're out there with him, never take your eyes off him.

CarGirl Mon 15-Sep-08 19:45:41

Might be easier just to have a stairgate and not let him out onto the balcony?

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 19:46:26

It's only accessible from my bedroom, and the door locks. So I suppose the answer is to never use it, or not when ds is around.

Twiglett Mon 15-Sep-08 19:48:50

sorry I don't get this

the railings are head height and the balcony is only through your bedroom

what are you worried about?

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 19:52:07

Well, the top railing (horizontal) is head height, but there's a large boy sized gap between that and the next horizontal railing which is at knee height.

I had brilliant plans of growing veges and herbs and nice things in pots and ds helping, but I think I'll just ban him from going out there.

SoupDragon Mon 15-Sep-08 19:53:27

The top railing is head height and there's a big gap between it and the next one down though, Twiglett.

Having had DS1 climb leg, head and shoulder through the "safety netting" on a balcony I would never let my children on one again. Not without being jumpy the whole time.

SoupDragon Mon 15-Sep-08 19:53:58

Banning is no good, you have to physically prevent him.

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 20:01:57

I'll lock the door.

Hulababy Mon 15-Sep-08 20:09:47

Is this to live in or for a holiday?

We lived in a 5th floor apartment whilst DD was 16m to 3y4m. There was a balcony (above waist height on an adult) off the living room.

We had a baby gate across the balcony door at all times, and we would shut the door to the balcony if leaving the room and leaving DD unsupervised.

DD was allowed on the balcony but only when someone was supervising, and we never left furniture out on the balcony - so no chance of climbing.

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 20:18:17

To live. I'll just have to keep the door closed and only let him out there with me. Actually, I think I'll send him out into the (tiny) garden and I'll sit on the balcony with my glass of wine 'supervising' him.

CarGirl Mon 15-Sep-08 20:21:03

Lock the door and hide the key very safely from out of his reach.

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 20:22:23

There's a picture of it on my profile now.

Hulababy Mon 15-Sep-08 20:24:35

Yes, it does look unsuitable for a child to be on, unsuervised. The advantage is is that it doesn't actually look that high up at least.

Ours was the equivalent of 6 floors up so very very high - but it was a very safe railing round it.

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 20:31:23

I might still ask the landlord about netting, even if I was with him I don't think I'd be happy about it. You're right though, it's not very high, maybe I'll position his sandpit underneath so he would have a nice soft landing.

SoupDragon Mon 15-Sep-08 20:32:23

Yes, at least it is only 1 floor up. It is completely unsuitable for children.

beansmum Mon 15-Sep-08 20:34:50

Can you get special safety netting? Or would chicken wire type stuff do?

SoupDragon Mon 15-Sep-08 20:39:01

The balcony DS1 climbed through was covered with safety netting. I wouldn't trust it. Chicken wire would allow toe-purchase for climbing.

I am, of course, biased having been freaked out by what could have happened.

cthea Mon 15-Sep-08 20:41:15

Our flat has a balcony off the living room. It's never been a safety issue with normal supervision. The weather has never been good enough to keep the door open as a matter of course.

LIZS Mon 15-Sep-08 20:43:25

W3e lived in a firts floor aprtment when ds was 3 until he was 6. The horizontal slats were much wider with smaller gaps between and ds wasn sensible and not adventurous . We moved just before dd was 3 , partly because she is much more gung ho and used to peer over the top to see her friends below.

tbh I'm surprised there hasn't been any requirement for your landlord to enclose that balcony, in the same way as stair bannisters have to be set a maximum distance apart. Not sure netting would be sufficient, and may still provide a foot hold, but how about using the bamboo/rush type fencing rolls on the inside ?

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