Some kids just love to climb on stuff. They'll scale furniture, trees and walls, often scaring you half to death in the process. If you have a child that can't help but climb, then you may well worry about them taking on your balcony balustrade. To avoid accidents, take some time to think about how your balustrade can protect them by making climbing as difficult as possible.
Materials and Design Matter
Some balustrades are easier to climb on than others. For example, if your balcony's balustrade has horizontal bars or even just a couple of horizontal fittings on it, then your kid will have no problems using these as steps to climb up on. Vertical bars make climbing a lot harder.
It's also a good idea to look at panelled balustrades that don't have significant gaps between the panels. It's harder to get climbing leverage on a panel compared to a bar; minimising gap size can prevent kids from wedging their feet into gaps to help them climb.
The material you choose for your balustrade can also help you out here. Some materials, even in panels, may make climbing easier. For example, your child may be able to get enough of a foot hold on a wood or metal panel to start going up. Glass may be a better option – its smooth surface may encourage feet to slide down rather than go up.
Tip: You can add protection to a balcony balustrade by applying anti-climbing products that are attached to a balustrade's top rail. These are typically strips with spikes on them that make it a lot harder for kids to hang on to the rail to pull themselves up.
Add Your Own Anti-Climbing Measures
While choosing a child-friendly balustrade can help make climbing harder, you should also take steps to keep your child's feet on the ground. For example, you may find the following tips useful:
- Make sure that your child is aware of what might happen if they were to climb over the balustrade. Kids may be fearless, but they may still understand when doing stuff isn't a good idea.
- Don't leave your child on the balcony alone without supervision.
- Keep your balcony door and any accessible windows locked when you aren't using the balcony and keep any keys out of reach and out of sight.
- Don't give your child any tools that make climbing easier. Kids can stand on chairs, flowerpots or even toys that are left on the balcony.
Before you choose a new balcony balustrade, make sure to tell your balustrade supplier that you have kid-climbing issues. Your supplier may be able to advise you on other ways to prevent climbing problems.