High-Rise Balcony Safety for Toddlers
High-rise balconies can pose a risk to toddlers. A study conducted in Australia covering the period from 1998 to 2002 found that 252 cases of falls from balconies or windows had been reported, according to Academia.edu. Of those falls, children ages 12 to 24 months constituted the biggest age group. Take care to ensure that toddlers are not at risk if you live in a high rise that has a balcony. You can make your balcony safer for toddlers.
Install Safety Precautions
While definitely not a fail-safe, installing safety netting, balcony guards or rail nets offer some protection 1. These safety precautions keep toddlers from being able to get a foothold to climb over the balcony 1. It will also make it harder for kids to stick toys through the slats on a balcony railing and drop toys on unsuspecting people below, increasing safety for the child -- and the neighbors 1!
Remove Climbable Items
Patio furniture, grills or toys can all be climbed on by toddlers. And climbing up also means they can climb over -- as in over the balcony. Drag chairs and any other objects you have out there inside when you're done using them. It's a pain to have to bring items in and out each time you want to use them, but better safe than sorry.
Install Safety Latches
To keep kids from getting out onto the balcony unsupervised in the first place, install child safety locks on the doors leading to the balcony 1. For extra, extra protection for the paranoid, put a hook-and-eye closure high up on the door where toddlers can't reach.
As in most parts of parenting, no safety precaution is as good as keeping a close eye on your kids. Ensure that toddlers never play on balconies by themselves and don't sleep when toddlers would be up and about unattended. For older toddlers, explain the dangers of playing on the balcony without a grownup. Also, punish children in an age-appropriate way for trying to fiddle with the locks or climb on balcony furniture.
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