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steph 01-15-2002 01:59 AM

We're considering buying a house that has a large deck/balcony on one side (off the livng room). Was wondering if any of you have lived w/something like that, and how safe is it (or can it be made) for dd whose now 7 mos. (so the whole walking/climbing/toddler stuff to go through)? Or is this a bad idea and we should skip this house? Thanks for your input!

Linda in Arizona 01-15-2002 11:01 AM

I think it depends on how far apart the slats are. We used to live in an apartment with a balcony and the slats seemed pretty far part, so we attached big sheets of solid, clear plastic to railing. It eliminated any risk and it looked nice. You could also put a baby gate up at the steps.

Sierra 01-15-2002 12:04 PM

Yeah, I would say if you like the house, just make considerations for how big the slats are and for how high the railing goes. If the slats seem big, put the clear plastic sheets against the rails as Linda said, and no one will even notice that the plastic is there, but baby wont be able to get through the slats. Or just keep an extra careful eye on baby when on the balcony.

If the railing is short, also be extra careful to watch your baby when she is out on the balcony as she gets into climbing. Maybe keep a child proof lock on the balcony door and only spend time on the balcony when you are together. If the railing is tall and/or hard to climb, you probably don't have to be quite as vigilent, but still keep an eye out. Also, be sure and don't have a bunch of items on the deck that your daughter might be tempted to use to hoist herself onto the railing.

I don't think it should be a big deal if you are aware of the potential hazards. If this is "the house," go for it and just take precautions.

robynberkley 01-15-2002 12:29 PM

We rented a house for a while with a nice big deck. We put the baby gate up over the stairs and allowed her to play out there as long as she liked. I echo the concerns for the size of the slats as well. Another concern...SPLINTERS!!! Be sure the deck is not splintering and that you have it treated regularly with some sort of sealant to ensure the kids don't get splinters! It is VERY traumatic for the little ones to get splinters removed...


ukmama 01-20-2002 10:00 AM

My deck is fantastic. We had it built last summer so I made sure the rail was abot 4 foot high and the gaps were not going to accomodate any inquisitive heads!. It has a gate and has never given us any splinters, it's forgiving if they fall, it's warm, non slip and my son loves it. In the summer he has an old bit of carpet and some cushions down for sitting down play, he can play with sand, water, paints, food! anything really and it does'nt matter as I can just sweep the mess away. We live on our deck in the summer and it's great in the winter too just like a big playpen. The only thing I would worry about is if he climbed on a chair to get over the rail but he could do this inside the house to climb out a window etc so I just keep a close eye on him and don't put any furniture he could climb on near the rails.

truly_sarah 01-20-2002 11:20 AM

Plastic snow fence and a staple gun will make short work of that issue. If you put a few pots out you can plant some vines to grow up on the fence...the fencing comes in a nice dark green so it will blend in.


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