Friday, 3 November 2017

How to Child-Proof Your Stairs


One of the most difficult changes you must make after having children is turning your previously adult-orientated home into a safe space for young ones. Of all the areas in the home, the staircase is one of the most common places where injuries can occur due to falls. The stairs can also be a difficult place to child-proof: not every staircase is the same, which means that there’s no exact guidance to follow. Here’s everything you need to know about making your stairs safe for young ones.

Restrict Access
A way to child-proof any room or area in the home is simply to restrict the access as much as possible. If your staircase is in the hallway and you’re in the living room, shut the door so the little one isn’t tempted to go and explore.

Baby Gates
A baby gate which has been properly installed will be a godsend for a curious child who likes to go wandering. Before you buy, you’ll need to consider a few things. If you’re up and down the stairs several times throughout the day, you’ll want a gate which can be opened and closed quickly. If you carry objects up the stairs, a gate that can be easily opened with one hand is ideal. If you have an open staircase, extendable baby gates are ideal. If the entrance to your staircase is narrow, you’ll just need a normal sized baby gate. Make sure that you shop around to find the best one for your needs.

Don’t forget the top!
The baby gate at the top of the stairs should be taller than the one at the bottom, because your child has much further to fall. You’ll need to screw into the wall or banister to make it as safe as possible. If you don’t want to do this (or you can’t, because you’re living in a rented property) you can buy a mount which clips onto the banister, and you can drill into this instead.


Banisters
An area of the stairs that you can often forget to child-proof is the banister itself. The child could go to grab the railings and put their hand through the gap instead, which could result in them falling. You can buy banister guards to prevent this – a piece of plastic that you secure to the banister.

Flooring
If you currently have laminate stairs or another hard material, it may be worth considering carpeting your stairs. Wood can be slippery at the best of times, particularly to children. Carpet stairs will protect against any falls, and can even be useful when your little one gets older and proceeds to run up and down the stairs! You’ll need to ensure that carpet is fixed securely to the stair treads. If you don’t want to have carpeted stairs, apply some non-slip paint or varnish to the treads.

Maintenance
Ensuring that your staircase is kept in a good condition over the years will mean that accidents are less likely to occur. Make sure that your spindles are secure and positioned correctly. The gap between the spindles should be no more than 99mm, according to UK Building Regulations. The newel post (at the end of the balustrade) shouldn’t be wobbly, particularly if you are going to be using a baby gate.

Reliable Stair Parts
If your staircase isn’t currently secure and you need to upgrade or change it, make sure that you purchase your stair parts from a reliable manufacturer such as Cheshire Mouldings. You should always seek advice from a professional joiner before you install any stair parts.

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*This is a collaborative post
How do you child-proof your home?

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9 comments

  1. Good tip about having a higher gate at the top of the stairs!

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  2. Great advice! Our oldest fell down the stairs as a toddler and it was pretty traumatising!

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  3. It really does pay to have decent stair gates, I still tell the boys to go carefully on the stairs now much to their disgust ha!x

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  4. Baby gates are so important for piece of mind and safety we had one at the top and bottom - some useful tips here!

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  5. I was worried when we took the stair gates away, as my two often come out of their rooms directly at the top of the stairs and play around. A LOT of talking about the dangers of stairs here! x

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  6. We always had gates top and bottom, I thought that would change when dd grew up, but then we got a puppy! Gates again!

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  7. Great tips - our stairs were an absolute nightmare when we had the children x

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  8. Fabulous tips, thanks for sharing them with ius

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