One of the more dangerous areas in the home, for people of any age, is the staircase. If we do not concentrate, it is very easy to trip, slip, or fall down the stairs and the consequences can be disastrous. For children, the risks are even greater, particularly as they appear to be an indoor climbing frame just asking to be explored. You, as a parent, are responsible for ensuring that you provide your children with a safe environment to grow up in. To help you, this guide outlines how you can make your stairs safe for your small children.
Prevent children under two years old from using them
Prevention is better than cure, so until you are sure that your children can confidently ascend and descend the stairs, do not let them use the stairs without your supervision. Installing a baby gate at the top and bottom of the staircase will ensure that children under two do not injure themselves.
Install railings and bannisters
If your stairs do not have railings and bannisters, now is the time to install them. A closed side and back will stop children from falling (as long as the railings are not spaced too far apart). Some people choose to install another railing at a lower height for children so they can steady themselves.
If your stairs are not carpeted, you should consider fitting carpet stair runners London. Wooden or stone steps are slippery and, if someone does fall, injuries can be more severe. Carpeting the staircase will provide more grip underfoot and some degree of cushioning. If your stairs are already carpeted, it is important to ensure that there are no holes, wrinkles, or frayed fibres which could be trip hazards for small toes.
Keep the stairs clutter-free
It is easy to use the stairs as a dumping ground for shoes, laundry, toys, or any other bits and pieces. They are all trip hazards, so it is important to keep the stairs as clutter-free as possible. If you see someone has left something on the stairs, move it, and if you are tempted to pop something down ‘just for a minute’ until you head upstairs, think twice. It only takes a second for someone to trip. Here are some tips on reducing clutter in the home.
Install a bannister guard
The steps of the stairs are a priority, but you should not neglect the railings and bannister which follow the steps up and possibly along a section of the first floor. Children often enjoy dropping toys from the top floor as part of their imaginary games, i.e. pretending toys can fly or are dropping from mountains. This is a safety concern for everyone in the home as objects may start falling from above. There is also a risk that children might get their legs, arms, or head stuck in the gaps between the railings. To prevent both of these problems, you should consider a bannister guard which is a sheet of tear-resistant plastic which attaches to the bannister and gets rid of the gaps.