The balcony in the condo is used as a family recreation area. A busy mom doesn’t always find time to go outside several times a day when the baby is in the house. The balcony becomes the location for “walks” with the child. Toddlers get used to an open place and for them, it is not associated with danger.
World statistics report hundreds of cases of children falling from windows and balconies every year. Toddlers do not know how to analyze the risks associated with a fall from a height. A whole world opens up from the window for a child that he is ready to explore. Parents of children of different ages should ensure that the kids stay on the balcony safely because this can save their lives.
Should You Even Let Baby go To Balcony?
The more you forbid the child to go out on the balcony, the more he will try to do it. Safety rules say that children should not be left unattended on the balcony even for a minute. This requirement is difficult to fulfill and it is recommended to secure the balcony for children.
It is important to establish the rules for the stay of babies on balconies. Children need to be reminded many times about the same thing until they remember the norms of behavior. This is important because children can be away, in hotels with their parents, where there are also balconies. They will remember the rules of behavior on the balconies.
Parents should impose a ban on active games on the balcony. Mom can watch and hear the children’s conversations. Children will be able to play on the balcony without risks to life if you responsibly approach the safety of the open space in the house.
How Dangerous are Balconies for Babies?
Each room has its risk areas for young children. These are furniture, appliances, doors, and window sills. Balconies fall into this category. The doors to the balcony are very often open in the summer heat. Toddlers manage to slip through the open door and put themselves in danger in a few minutes.
Most fall-related accidents happen to children under the age of four. The nature and severity of injuries depend on the height of the fall. Common injuries that children receive include:
Open, closed fractures of limbs
These injuries are painful and have a long recovery period. Sometimes fractures are so severe that plates are required. Partial ruptures of tendons and sprains after a fall are possible.
Bruises are dangerous after falls from an insignificant height. Injury to the spinal cord at a young age is fraught with paralysis of the limbs and neurological disorders.
Traumatic brain injury
The threat of such injuries is that they have negative consequences in the future. Headaches and epileptic seizures may occur after suffering a concussion of the brain.
Injuries to a fragile child’s body cause serious diseases. For example, damage to blood vessels provokes cerebral hemorrhage and internal bleeding.
Fear of heights
A child can get a strong fear of heights if he falls from a small height (first floor) and gets off with bruises. Phobias are almost impossible to overcome in adulthood. They prevent a person from living a full life.
The danger for children is the height and type of the fence. If the side is made of metal rods, babies can stick their limbs or head between them. They can get stuck, get very frightened, or even hurt themselves.
What mistakes do parents make?
Many parents find a mosquito net to be sufficient fall protection. This is a huge mistake regarding the safety of children. Toddlers lean on a fragile structure and fall off the balcony. Most children are affected under the age of five.
Another serious mistake of parents: they allow children to have fun on the balcony in their presence. Kids run, jump, and bend over the railing. Such behavior must be stopped immediately because children get used to mischief.
The desire to save on the services of professionals can also play a cruel joke. Parents often independently install additional fencing, and blockers on the door, neglecting the installation requirements. Insecure fastening of protective equipment will not protect children from falling from a height.
Baby Proof Balcony Ideas
Young children have a talent for getting into seemingly inaccessible places. Toddlers who have learned to crawl and walk are especially attracted to window sills and doors. They like to explore the possibilities of doorknobs. Children can simply lock their parents or themselves on the balcony. The biggest risk for babies on a balcony is that they can bend over the railing.
Children of five or six years old understand the established rules and do not go out onto the balcony without adults. Toddlers from six months to four years are not aware of the limitations. Mothers cannot watch the child every second. The task of the parents is to arrange a safe recreation area on the balcony.
Get rid of excess
Many people use the balcony as a place to store personal items. For a small child, any box, ottoman, or high chair arouses interest and a desire to climb to the top. Sofas and armchairs leaning close to the railing become a threat to the kids: it is easier for children to climb to the dangerous side.
Parents should organize the storage of things in such a way that it is impossible to climb on them. It is important to remove stepladders, stools, books, and coffee tables so that the baby can move to the edge of the balcony. A clean balcony means a safe place to spend time with children.
Raise the fence
The average height of the fence on the balcony is 80-90 cm. If the border is made of opaque material, this further encourages the kids to view the landscape from a height. Children can stand on their toes, pull themselves up, and use stands to increase the viewing angle.
In this case, the height of the fence should be increased to 1.2-1.5 meters. A good way to satisfy children’s curiosity and ensure safety is to install glass sides. Transparent railings are made of tempered glass, which is very difficult to break. The kid will receive a viewing area and will be safe.
Use special protective equipment
Specialized marketplaces and online stores offer many affordable means to provide additional protection in the home. Locks on the door will not allow the baby to enter the restricted area. Parents will fix the thickness of the gap with the help of a device in which the baby does not fit. The room will be ventilated and the child will be safe.
Handles with a lock that can only be unlocked with a key make it impossible to open the door to the balcony. This way of safety will help parents whose children love to play around and do not follow the rules. Safety barriers in the doorway keep small children out. They resemble the side of a playpen. The door guard is suitable for children from six months to two years old.
Seal the rods in the side
Many fences are of sufficient height but they have a wide gap between the steel bars. Small children are quite flexible and often stick their heads between the bars. Babies cannot pull back their heads or limbs on their own. Lattice fences cause childhood injuries, dislocations, and swelling of the limbs. The situation is worse when the baby is placed between the bars completely. This is fraught with a fall from a height.
Experienced parents recommend sealing the side with additional flaps. Creating a horizontal binding between the vertical bars protects the kids from danger. You can do it yourself or take the help of specialists.
Install a protective mesh for the balcony
This design should not be confused with a mosquito net. Special grids are installed in private two-story houses and condos. It is necessary to choose nets with small holes, otherwise, the child will use the protection as a ladder.
The mesh is stretched around the entire perimeter of the balcony. It can be used as railing protection. The kid will not be able to stick his legs or head between the bars or throw toys down. It is important to securely fasten the fence so that the little one does not find weaknesses in it.
Use a playpen
Even babies who have just learned to crawl manage to get onto the balcony. It only takes a few seconds for children to put themselves in danger. Parents usually cannot change the design of the balcony according to the rules for the operation of the premises. You can use the usual constructions in this case.
The playpen will protect babies up to two years old from the risks of falling. Children will not be able to get out of it on their own. The child will be able to play on the balcony without risks to life if he is provided with interesting leisure activities (developing musical toys or games with kinetic sand). The baby will breathe fresh air and the mother will be calm. Do not leave the child in the playpen for a long time. Children at this age cannot concentrate on one activity for a long time.