Creating family-friendly stairs

Home & garden

If you have a young child who is just starting to crawl, you’ll need to take action to make your staircase child friendly. It’s not just the baby gate you need to think about, there’s a whole host of factors which can make your staircase dangerous to a young one.

Here’s everything you need to know about family friendly stairs.

Closed treads

The treads of the stairs are the steps themselves, and they should be closed over to ensure your little one can’t fall through them. In most homes, they are closed anyway but in the event that yours aren’t, now is the time to act.

Lower rails

Fit a lower rail to the normal rail at the right height for little ones. This will mean that they have something to hold onto comfortably, without reaching for the higher rail which is a fall risk within itself. There should be a railing at both sides of the stairs.

Carpet

If you have carpet which is damaged, loose or fraying, you must replace it. The carpet needs to be secure and tight, as even the smallest wrinkle can catch kid’s toes. If you have wooden stairs, fit a runner or slip-resistant pads to stop children slipping when they’re wearing socks.  

Stair gates

You should have a stair gate at the top and bottom of the stairs, and the one at the top should have more height because the little ones have further to fall. For safety the top one should always screw into the banister – if you’re living in a rental home and can’t do this, there are devices you can fit to your banister which you can then drill into, with no damage to the actual banister.

Bannister protection

Your banister railings need attention, because there’s a chance your child could fall through them or get stuck. If you are unable to change the width between the railings, get a sturdy sheet of plastic and place it against the banister. This will stop curious children having a serious accident, and they’re easy to fit yourself. This works well if your home is rented and you can’t change the staircase itself.

Reliable stair parts

If your staircase is sound structurally, it’s actually quite easy to renovate them. You can buy stair parts from a manufacturer and install them yourself, or get assistance from a professional joiner. If you’re worried about the stability of your banister, you can replace it with a new timber one which will be safer when your child is holding on to it.

This is a collaborative post

 

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