Asked on Jan 27, 2020

How do I childproof a second story catwalk balcony?

Lori
by Lori
  15 answers
  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Jan 27, 2020

    Hi Lori, yes this area can be dangerous for children. You can put up a child (or dog that is what we use) at the top and bottom of the stairs. Ours is easy to open for an adult. Our type gate we got on amazon for about 35 dollars. You can get a white or black gate and they do not have to be screwed to the wall. Good luck and keep your babies safe.

  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 27, 2020

    Hi Lori. I know they sell netting that you tie on to the stairs. Keeps children and pets from being able to stick their through. My neighbor has one.

  • William William on Jan 27, 2020

    I notice you already have a gate at the top of the stairs. One thing you can do is get some 1/4" clear plexiglass and cut panels to fit against the balusters between the top rail and bottom on the inside. Screw the panels to every fourth baluster or so. This would prevent any access to the balusters or attempt to climb.

    • Lori Lori on Jan 28, 2020

      Good thought!! I like it! My mind is in overdrive right now. I’m thinking. What if curiosity gets them and they find something to stand on....

      Thank you for your response

  • Lori Lori on Jan 28, 2020

    Thank you all for your responses! You guys are amazing. The space between the railings don’t really concern me. My MAIN concern is the “up and over”. I promise you, my little ones will not be unsupervised, but, we all not perfect. I’m kinda the “worse case scenario” thinker.


    Any ideas for the top? I saw pics is plexiglass that goes on top but I’m kinda at a loss on how to get started. Definitely no companies that provide this as a service around me.


    Maybe another top rail (Or 2) that runs parallel with the top railing?? Is that even possible????? Thinking that may give some height??


    You guys are great!! Keep those ideas coming!!!

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Jan 28, 2020

    it is a tricky one ... I would build a trellis and hang some ivies on them

  • William William on Jan 28, 2020

    Along with the plexiglass. Another top rail as you say would help. Could be made like a ladder on it's side to look like your existing rail. Screwed to the top of your existing rail and of course plexiglass to cover any balusters. Would add height and not take away from the railing look.

  • Michelle Michelle on Jan 28, 2020

    Call in a contractor to make recommendations to add height quite honestly I be real nervous having a child using the space as it. Also possible to take off rails and to tall or floor to ceiling wall then add a long transom window on each wall to bring in light and light color paint for walls

  • PSMR PSMR on Jan 29, 2020

    Have you thought of extending the landing to the far wall? You might lose ceiling height, but you would be making it safe and you could turn the space into a reading book. Best of luck

    • Lori Lori on Jan 30, 2020

      Yes. We have thought that. That would cost us a pretty penny. Yet still have to worry about the other side towards the steps. Decided to add height. Thanks for your response. This site is so helpful

  • Patti Patti on Jan 29, 2020

    I did not understand if you are afraid for children getting THROUGH or OVER this railing. Fabric could be woven through to stop going through, which would further enhance your decor colours for the adjacent areas. You could also heighten the railing for a few years (my boys would have been going OVER this in their teens!) with an 8 inch height extension securely (temporarily) mounted to the top. Limit moveable stepping items children could drag to the railing to go OVER until you can TEACH them it is wrong. Take them to HIGHER levels, scarier, and show them how serious it is elsewhere.

    • See 2 previous
    • Lori Lori on May 05, 2020

      Quarantine shut our project down. We bought the lumber, have it sanded and stained. It’s just me (9 months pregnant), my hubby, and a toddler. He needs another set of hands. I’ll post as

      soon as we are finished 😀

  • Christina Christina on Jan 31, 2020

    You could put some lattice up on the top railing to the ceiling. Then maybe hang some Ivey or something to decorate it.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 31, 2020

    As far as “through” is concerned, it appears these “meet Code”, as a “4” sphere cannot pass through them”.

    As far as “over” is concerned, “Code” is now 36” AFF. The easiest thing to do is make that little step stool or that trash can out of their reach.

    If you need to put a lock on the closet door or child locks on the bathroom vanity, that’s going to be easier to put “back to normal” when they grow up a bit and you decide to sell and buy a bigger house.


  • Kate Garrett Kate Garrett on Apr 13, 2020

    During all this extra time home for the pandemic, I have been binge watching too many home improvement shows. I can't tell you which shows at this point, but I saw 2 different programs address this problem the same way: cargo netting.


    Either as a commercial good or as woven ropes, netting can be anchored to the catwalk floor & the opposite wall. It can even bend up to the ceiling joist near the stairs.


    √It is permiable to light & air so you don't loose the value of your high ceilings.

    √It can give you piece of mind for now.

    √It could even become a hammock-like hang out spot in their teens

  • Lori Lori on Jul 24, 2020

    Well....7 months later (thanks COVID) this is what we ended up with. Couple hundred bucks and a couple hours of work. Can’t wait to take it down already but it’ll remain for a few years until the babies are older. I’m going to cover bottom

    with clear plexi.

    comment photo
    comment photo
    comment photo
  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 24, 2020

    I would pick up some netting at walmart and line them with that. If you are careful you should be able to reuse this also. Also saw a show where they used old tennis netting to accomplish the same thing.

    If you wanted to save money use old branches saved from pruning trees but that would only work well in you were going for a rustic theme.