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Baby-proofing Tips for your Home Staircase

Any high place in the home is a mountain to conquer for kids. Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children. These injuries are often as a result of incidents like climbing on furniture, playing near an unsecured window and playing at playgrounds but the most common is from falling down the stairs. Stairs are a favourite play area for small children but they can be a safety hazard. So how do you baby-proof your stairs? Here is some advice that can help you to make your stairs safer for your kids:

Limiting access

Installing childhood safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs will help limit children’s access to the stairs. Look for gates that can be attached, even if it’s for helical stairs. Toddlers can be strong and capable of tearing a safety gate down by leaning or pulling with their body weight, especially in the event of a tantrum. Opt for swinging gates rather than accordion gates that can trap a child’s head.

Railing and baluster considerations

Depending on your building code, railings and balusters should be less than four inches apart. Consider the design of your railings and balusters if you have children at home. Make sure that there are no gaps larger than four inches between the floor and railings. Homes that are significantly older may have railings that are wider than four inches and ideally, these railings should be replaced. If that is not practical,it is a good option to consider installing clear plastic mesh netting to further baby-proof the balcony leading to the bottom of the stairs.

According to child care experts, railings should be at least four feet tall and should always be vertical. Children may use horizontal railings as ladders and short handrails on stairs can help children to learn to safely navigate their way on the stairs.

Lighting and traction

Make sure that you have light switches and night lights ready at the top and bottom of the staircase. Having a well-lit staircase can ensure that all steps are visible. Night lights should be equipped with emergency power backup, in case of power failure.

Slick hardwood can also be dangerous to stairs and adding non-slip pads or stickers will help. Carpets also provide traction; however, a loose carpet can be a trip hazard. Closing the stairs with open risers can help avoid children slipping through these steps. Avoid waxing the stairs, landing and deck as it can make these areas more dangerous.

Limiting stair hazards

Avoid leaving anything on the stairs. You can also teach your children to not leave their toys near the stairs. Remove pot plants, umbrella stands and other non-required items that may be a hazard to our children, especially if it’s within their reach. Also check for loose nails and screws which can also be hazardous if left unchecked.

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2 comments on “Baby-proofing Tips for your Home Staircase

  1. Pingback: A Guide on Maintaining Your Stairs | The Staircase Experts

  2. Pingback: The Top 10 Common Mistakes in Stair Design | The Staircase Experts

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This entry was posted on March 31, 2014 by in Guides and tagged .
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