Child proof upstairs retreat area surrounded by bannisters

Hi! Need help from forum participants thanks!

The upstair retreats area is just outside the bedrooms and is surrounded by bannisters. I think this is what people call foyer balcony. The balustrade between the bannisters are wide and I am concerned that the toddlers might squeeze through. It would be a 5 metre drop. I think the height of the bannisters are <1 metre and children could potentially pull up a small stool to climb over it.

Thinking of using glass/perspex partition that go floor to ceiling or at least 6 ft tall. Not keen to use plaster wall, timber etc as this would make the upstairs too "congested/"closed up". Whilst aesthetic appeal is important, safety will have to comes first.

Where do I get the glass/perspex partition? Who would install? Prefer shatterproof material. I am in Melbourne.

Any other suggestions as to how I can make the area safe?

Obviously I'd put the child proof gates at the top and bottom of stair case... that's the easier part.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Is this your own place or an IP?

Either way, I would make sure that the height is legal and the spacing is legal. Could you replace the section with "legal" height and width?
 
My own place.

I have just had a further thought= maybe melamine boards or even plaster boards to cover up the gaps between the timber balustrades, then glass balustrade on top to give make it higher... would this work?

more advice please, thanks! :)
 
Either way sounds like it would work, but it sounds a little like you could end up with an ugly looking, albeit expensive, "fixed up" type of balustrade.

Would you not be better all round to make it legal, bite the bullet and replace the whole thing with something that looks good AND does its job?

The fixes you have suggested sound like they might end up costing more than to just replace what is there.
 
Hi there thanks Wylie and Rugrat for your responses so far. I appreciate this.

haven't been able to sleep since 1am because I am so stressed about it....

I have called Kidsafe and they will get back to me.

I think you are right Wiley, probably just replace the whole thing- for safety and aesthetics and also cost reasons.

I am thinking of getting new timber balcony balustrades made- money I did not account for when buying the house!

The thing is, this internal balcony/landing perimeter is 7 or 8 metres so I am estimating $4500 installed.....

Settlement is in 12 weeks. I wonder if I can ask the owners if I can take the measurements for the balcony and the second floor windows to install childproof bars...

More suggestions appreciated!
 
Just another thought...
what about bamboo fencing? It's 1.8m high and not too expensive. I could possibly attach it to the existing balustrade?
 
Bite the bullet and get new stuff.

Toddlers can be trained too remember - ours can get IN her cot easy but won't get out. Nor will she climb the front fence, which is very low.

And don't leave any climbing aids up there!
 
Get new stuff. Make sure it is as childproof as possible, preferably over 1.5m high with no horizontal rails that kids can climb on. Safety should take a higher priority than aesthetics.

Don't place any furniture near the railing that would give a little one a "leg-up" to climb over.

My very young grandsons are climbers, and it is truly shocking how high they can go.

By all means approach the owners to ask if measurements can be taken. I am sure no-one would object, especially if you explain that child safety is concerned.
Marg
 
standards

If they fit the legal standards re width of gap you should be okay legally... if a toddler can squeeze through then probably the gap is too wide... although I'm not a lawyer. As far as height goes, almost all staircases are short enough so that a toddler climbing on a box/chair could get over.

We've got stairs but, with a gate at the bottom, the toddler can't get up to the top and thus can't fall down. If the top area is a 'gimme' as a play area, an alternative might be bi-fold doors or sliding nets/curtains (attached top and bottom) that can be pulled and locked into place as need be. If it's for your PPOR you can be wary. If tenanting, you can look for tenants with older kids... who of course could also get into grief via naughtiness rather than inattention.
 
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