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Storage  /  October 11, 2022

How To Make Stairs Safe for Your Family

How to make stairs safe for children

Falls down a set of stairs are risky for people of all ages, but children are particularly at risk. Every year, thousands of children under the age of 5 fall down the stairs, and many sustain injuries to the head or neck. Older children are able to navigate stairs more effectively but may engage in risky behaviours, such as running up or down the steps. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make stairs safer for your family.

Install Safety Gates for Stairs

Once babies are old enough to crawl, there is a chance that they could make their way to a flight of stairs unobserved. Babies this young are too young to understand that the ground is not always solid under their hands and feet. A safety gate at the top of the stairs can prevent them from falling from the top of the stairs to the bottom.

However, one safety gate is not enough. Babies and toddlers may also try to climb the stairs from the bottom. At some point during their ascent, they may lose their balance or their grip and fall. If they have climbed high enough, they could suffer severe injuries when they reach the bottom. Therefore, it is necessary to have two safety gates: One at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom.

There are many different kinds of safety gates available. Some use pressure or tension to hold them in place, but these aren’t good for stairs for several reasons. If pushed with enough force, they may fall out of place. They are also cumbersome when you need to go up or down the stairs yourself. Experts recommend safety gates that screw into the wall and have hinges and latches to be opened and shut as needed. If you are asking yourself, “Could I hire a carpenter handyman near me to install those gates for me?” the answer is yes, and it is a good idea to take care of this before your baby starts crawling.

Safety gates should be at least 22 inches high, and openings in the gate should be no more than 1/2 inch wide.

Have Handrails Installed and Keep Them in Good Repair

Young children do not always fall down the stairs on their own. Sometimes a parent or caregiver who is carrying the child trips. It is best to avoid carrying your child up or down the stairs if possible, but if it is unavoidable, holding onto a secure handrail with one hand could prevent a fall.

Once your children are old enough to navigate the stairs on their own, you can have the safety gates removed. At the same time, you should have handrails installed if you don’t already have them. Check them periodically to see if they are loose and have them repaired if necessary. Teach your children to walk up and down the stairs, never run, and always hold onto the handrail as they go.

Prevent Stairs From Becoming Cluttered

It is not only children who could trip on foreign objects on the stairs; anyone could trip over them and fall down the steps. Teach your children not to leave toys on the stairs. Set a good example for them by not setting grocery bags or other objects on the stairs when you get home. Some people set potted plants or other decorative objects on the floor of stair landings, but it is safer if the stairs are completely free of objects at all times so they present a clear path.

Find Out How Handyman Connection Can Help

Installing baby gates or handrails correctly is too important to leave to chance. Our carpenters handle much more than storage solutions in Guelph; we also install and repair safety features. Learn more about our carpentry specialties.

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