How to make stairs safe for children

stairs

How to make stairs safe for children

Staircases can be the most dangerous place in a home for young children. It’s too easy to trip and fall off the stairs, but toddlers and babies just don’t realize it. As soon as they start crawling, they are attracted to the stairs like a magnet. It’s like a mountain they have to climb and no matter how many times you try to get them off it, your baby just wants to crawl back there. As a parent, it is your responsibility to provide a safe space for your young children. Here are the steps to make your stairs safe and accident-free:

Keep your kids off the stairs until they are ready to climb them
The most important thing to do to protect babies is to prevent them from approaching the stairs. It is best to wait until they are around two years old before teaching them how to go up and down the stairs. And while they may not yet be able to walk up and down on their own, you should never leave them on the stairs unattended.

Redesign your staircase if necessary
First of all, your staircase must have a banister and handrail. If your staircase doesn’t have these due to your previous interior design choices, now that you have babies around you need to add railings. Stairs should have closed backrests so that children cannot fall through. The railings should not be too far apart as toddlers may slip through or get stuck trying. You can also add a lower railing next to your original railing if your children are too short to reach the railing. Be sure to attach it to both sides of the stairs.

Cover your stairs with a carpet
If you have ever thought of carpeting the house, then now is the time to finally do it. Wood, in particular, can be slippery for babies and toddlers, and carpeting can cushion any fall. Rugs will still come in handy as your child gets older because little kids love to run around and run up and down stairs. If your house and stairwell are already carpeted, make sure it’s tight. Replace loose, damaged, or fraying carpets to prevent accidents. Even a small crease in old carpets can snag your kids’ tiny toes. If you’re not a fan of rugs, install non-slip pads or a safe runner on your wooden staircase.

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Baby-proof the stairs
Since it’s impossible to keep an eye on your crawling baby 24/7, you can install a baby gate or stair gate at the top and bottom of your stairs to prevent stair-related injuries. As we have said before, babies are drawn to stairs and they would want to climb them as often as possible. Once he learns to crawl, you’ll need to fence off your stairs at both ends with a baby gate.

However, before you buy one, you need to consider the following things:

Are your stairs always used continuously every day? If so, then choose a gate that opens and closes as quickly as possible.
Do your older children have to use the stairs? If so, get them to coordinate with your baby safety plan – teach them to make sure they close the baby gate every time they use the stairs.
Do you need to carry things or your child up and down the stairs? If yes, then you need a baby gate that is easy to open with one hand.
Is the staircase the only section that needs to be cordoned off? If you think that the adjacent area near the stairs should also be closed off for the baby, then you would need to find a baby gate that is longer than usual.
Do you want your baby gate to match your interiors? This is the least important question as your child’s safety must come first before the look of your home. You can at least choose a baby gate that matches one of the colors in your stairwell area, or even anything in sight.
Now that you’ve given some thought to your lifestyle and budget, here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a baby gate.

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Top of Stairs : A gate at the top of your stairs is very important as a child can fall from the top much further. Use gates anchored with hardware that can be bolted to the wall or railing. Make your baby gate as high as possible, also to prevent your child from climbing over the gate. Retractable baby gates are not suitable for the top of the stairs as they can detach over time from being pushed, leaned against or accidentally bumped into. The baby gate you choose should be securely installed so that it will not collapse if your child tries to climb over the gate or puts too much weight on its side when playing.

Bottom of Stairs : If your stairs are simple and don’t have a large open area at the base, choose a baby gate that fits perfectly in the entrance of your stairwell. Pressure mounted baby gates are very easy to install and all it takes is two flat surfaces – the wall and the stair rail – to push against. However, you must remember that pressure gates are only to be used at the bottom of the stairs, not at the top. If your staircase is unusual or has a wide stairwell at the bottom, consider using a hardware mounted baby gate that has options for extension pieces. These are suitable for wider than normal stairs. For complicated stair constructions, stair protection blinds are the better choice .

Secure the railing
Many people forget the banister and railings on the top floor when baby-proofing the stairs. It’s tempting for children to squeeze toys through the railing; they enjoy dropping a toy off the stairs and imagining that it can fly. Now the people below would have to watch out for falling toys from above. And some children also like to try to fit into the railing for reasons we cannot understand, resulting in some hands or feet catching on the railing or railing. To solve this problem, try installing a banister railing. This is a foil or mesh or plastic that covers the gaps in the length of the railing. The plastic variant would be more effective as the mesh may eventually tear or fall off, when your child tries to play with it. Also, plastic railing guards come with zip ties that attach them to the railing.

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Keep your stairs clean
Keep all shoes, toys, magazines or other things away from the stairs at all times to avoid accidents. But even when you’ve cleaned up, toys can end up everywhere, especially if your kids like to throw something on the steps. As soon as you see an object on the stairs, pick it up quickly because accidentally stepping on it could cause you or your children to walk down the stairs.

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