Childproofing Your Home: The Stairs (Part 5 of 9)

By | 2017-09-11T14:55:16+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Categories: Childproofing|Tags: |

According to the Home Safety Council, falls are the number one cause of home injuries and death in the United States. While slips and falls can occur anywhere, if your home has stairs, the risk of accidental falling is much higher. Here are some proactive safety measures you can take to ensure maximum stair safety:

  • Install gates at the top and bottom of every staircase. Make sure the gates at the top of stairways are hardware-mounted because pressure-mounted ones could more easily become dislodged

  • If necessary, purchase gate extenders or special installation kits for odd-shaped areas, uneven door moldings, or drywall with no support

  • Ensure that gates are mounted fewer than 3 inches from the floor to prevent children from crawling under

  • Never use accordion-style baby gates because they have been proven to be strangulation hazards

  • Provide adequate handrails on both sides of the staircase, and make sure they remain securely fastened at all times

  • Keep stairways well-lit, and immediately replace any bulbs that are no longer working

  • Install carpeting or non-slip runners on hardwood stairs to provide traction and prevent slips and falls

  • Always keep stairs clutter-free

  • Never allow children to jump or play on stairs, and teach them to always hold the railing

  • Use non-skid wax or polish when cleaning hardwood stairs

  • Keep flashlights with fresh batteries stored safely nearby stairways so they can be easily accessed in the event of a power outage

This blog post is part of a nine part series on Childproofing Your Home and has been adapted from the book The Ultimate Guide to Home Safety for Kids.

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