If you’re living in Singapore, it is compulsory to child proof your windows and balconies. Take the events of last week as a prime example. Mamas and dadas throughout Singapore no-doubt felt deep knots in the pits of their stomachs as they watched the viral video of a toddler screaming for help, dangling precariously over the edge of a ledge with her head stuck in some balcony railings. Thankfully, Subramanian Shanmuganathan and Ponnan Muthukumar came to the rescue and we all cheered them on as they scaled the wall to save the day and, no doubt, the little one’s life.
High-rise living is a standard part of life in Singapore and every parent at some point or another will shudder at the thought of their littlies venturing a little too far out of the window. If there’s anything that last week’s event has taught us, it’s that we need to child proof windows and balconies so that our bubs remain safe within the confines of the home. Leaving it to chance should never be an option: Toddlers very quickly perfect the art of scaling obstacles that even Indiana Jones himself would find insurmountable.
Here’s our guide to baby proofing your windows and balconies.
How to Child Proof Windows and Balconies
Visible grills may be pretty ugly and they may ruin your view of your neighbour’s lounge, but they are solid, robust and impenetrable. You can expect to pay from around $6.50 upwards per square foot per window grille depending on the material you choose.
Pros of Visible Window Grilles:
- The safest and most reliable of the options available.
- Double up as protection against burglars.
- Can be combined with mosquito screens to protect against biters.
- Can be slid to one side while you clean the windows.
Cons of Visible Window Grilles:
- They are ugly and confine you to a prison-like environment.
- Can be quite costly depending on the size and number of windows.
Window grille suppliers that come highly recommended:
Invisible grills are constructed from solid stainless steel but are barely noticeable and, for this reason, many parents shell out the big bucks to have them fitted. However, do note one thing, they are not actually invisible (massive disappointment); however, they are definitely much more aesthetically pleasing than the visible grilles. If you do go for this option, make sure you opt for the plastic-coated grills, because these are much more child friendly, and make sure you ensure there is only a small gap between each wire, because toddlers show an uncanny ability to squeeze themselves through even the tightest spots. You can expect to pay a minimum of $350 SGD per window.
Pros of invisible grilles:
- You can access all the safety options of the visible grills without feeling like you’re doing time in Changi.
- Provided they are fitted properly, they will be strong even to keep even the most boisterous toddler safely indoors.
Cons of invisible grilles:
- They are the most expensive option available.
- Not all condos permit the installation of safety grills.
- Because they are permanent installations, they are not suitable for all windows; for example, those that you need to open to hang washing out of.
- They don’t offer the same protection against burglars as visible grills because anyone who wanted to gain access to your abode could simply cut through them with some wire cutters.
- Can be difficult to clean the windows, especially if the gap between the wires is small (which it needs to be!).
- If you don’t own the property, you will need to ask the landlord’s permission before installing the grilles and may be asked to take them down before you leave.
Invisible grille suppliers that come highly recommended:
Rex: +65 9188 2242.
Window Latches and Sliding Door Locks
Definitely the most affordable option, window latches are cheap and cheerful and pretty easy to install.
Pros of window latches:
- Represent a temporary option that you can get fitted without the landlord’s permission.
- Quick and easy to fit with no need to involve an outside contractor.
Cons of window latches:
- It’s not completely unheard of for persistent toddlers to break them.
- They offer no protection against burglars and mossies.
- They do not offer the same level of protection as the more permanent options.
Window locks that come highly recommended:
Dreambaby sliding door and window locks from Pupsik Studio.
Patrull window latches from Ikea
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