Approximately 8000 kids are taken to emergency rooms due to fall-related injuries each day across the United States, according to the CDC. This adds up to almost 3 million injury treatments a year. A staircase is one of the most common places where falls occur in the house. The good news is that it is very simple to install baby proof stairs in your home.
Baby proofing your home is really important, and you should start doing that if you haven’t already. It is always great to start with childproof stairs since they are very easy to install and available at a lot of places. You can ensure your home is safe in just a few steps, with just a little care and knowledge on certain things.
What is a Good Time for Baby Proof Stairs?
According to experts, it is recommended to start baby-proofing your household when your child is about 6 months old. Babies are usually not self-mobile yet during this period, so you can start discussing with your partner about different options for securing the home for your child.
Infants usually start crawling when they are about 9 months old. However, some babies can take the standing position or even make a few steps while holding the furniture when they are this old. So, starting to think about securing the space for your baby early is always a good thing to do, and protection the stairs is crucial.
How to Choose a Baby Gate that Fits Your Needs?
The crucial part of installing baby proof stairs is going to be identifying the baby proofing needs in your house. You need to know what is important to you and you have to consider how frequent you use stairs so you don’t end up wasting your money and time.
Take a careful look around your house and think about how things will look like once there are childproof stairs installed.
These considerations will certainly help you to make a decision when picking an adequate baby gate for stairs:
- Space requirements. You can decide whether you want to buy a baby gate that sits in the doorways or the one that covers a large entryway. Consider buying a couple of large baby gates so you can section off a whole room if you are trying to figure out how many of them you need.
- Frequency of use. This is probably the most important aspect you need to consider when securing your staircase. You need to understand how often you use your stairs. Consider getting a walk-through gate or a swinging gate if there is a high-traffic inside your house. Of course, this is the case if you don’t mind constantly stepping over and up.
- Style and Designs. Of course, safety is always in the first place. However, you can always find a baby gate that will probably match your entire house from an aesthetic point of view. The gate you chose will be more or less better in blending since you can choose between metal, wood, and different colors.
- Think about the way your household is organized. Is your bedroom far away from your laundry room? Do you usually carry your child up and down the stairs a lot? If this is the case, there are safer baby gates, and designed, for high-traffic and you should consider buying one of those.
- Securing the gate. Make sure that there are no objects around the gate that your child can use to climb over the stairs. Toddlers, specifically, are more prone to do such things. So, be sure that the gate’s height is appropriate for your toddler or infant and make sure that there is no furniture around it.
Baby Proofing Your Stairs
There is one solid fact when it comes to baby proof stairs: you are not able to allow your child to have access safely. You will have to section off both the bottom and top part of the stairs from your kids.
As you probably already know, infants are very curious and will try to escape from anywhere if they have a chance. This is why restricting things and making them more secure will provide you with relief and your baby won’t be able to try any daring and dangerous escapes.
The most reliable and common way of keeping your child away from the staircase is to install a baby gate. Of course, you have to make sure that it is properly installed. Once you start searching for baby gates you will notice that there are plenty of them available. The choice is up to you; just make sure that the one you pick can completely block the access to the stairs for the baby.
Anchoring the Baby Gates
You have to make sure that you are reading instruction manuals thoroughly when you are installing childproof stairs. Your child will be at a higher chance to hurt itself if the baby gate you install is unstable and unreliable. Make sure to check whether your gate has not been recalled and try avoiding using accordion baby gates.
Mounting a baby gate will require special attention at the top part of the stairs. You will probably have to drill into the wall and banister to get a secure mount. Try using a mounting kit that may protect your banisters from drilling if you don’t think that it is smart to do so.
Check Your Stairs
Stairs will need maintenance sometimes. This means that you have to catch a flaw in them in the time since only that can prevent your baby from getting hurt if it somehow manages to get out of the baby gate.
Make sure you inspect for loose steps, rough nails, and edges regularly to prevent any kind of possible dangerous spots. You should do this even more often if you carry your child up and down the stairs frequently. The last thing you want to happen is to step on a nail while carrying your child since the pain and panic might cause you to fall with your baby.
The statistics show that about 25% of stair-related injuries in children happened while they were carried by a parent. Childproof stairs can’t help too much here, so make sure that everything around your stairs is safe for your child.
Get a Banister Guard
Another thing you can do to further secure your staircase is to get a banister guard. These usually go along the length of your banister at the top part of the stairs. You can find them in different materials and styles to fit your home adequately. These won’t necessarily make your baby proof stairs fashionable, but they will make them safer.
It probably won’t be too hard for you to install the banister guard. However, you have to make sure to test it before giving access to your child to it. Just simply press on the guard to check whether it can withstand some pressure.
A DIY Solution
If you have resources, time, and the right tools you can try making a custom railing guard. This is maybe even the best solution if you can pull it out since you can make the guard the way you imagine it, and it can also be very fun for you. There are a couple of different methods when it comes to realizing this, so do some research to find out which one fits your budget and skills the best.
Large Areas and Baby Gates
You will have to attach a baby gate designed for a large area with some screws. These gates are usually stretched over a big distance, and this is why they need to be hardware mounted – to remain sturdy.
Just simply consider buying a 3-in-1 gate if you have a house with a large section around the base of your stairs that you have to secure.
Even though baby gates can easily be turned into a playground, that is not their main purpose. Some baby gates come with extensions that can be purchased afterward. With enough of them, you will be able to cover any distance. Thanks to this, you will be able to not only restrict your baby’s access to the stairs but also to other possible dangerous areas around them. Such gates work best among parents who have stairs without sides.
Gates Made for the Stair Entrance
In case you do not have an open area that is also wide at the base of your staircase, large baby gates are not a good choice for you. Luckily, many baby gates can work well with the entrance of your staircases as well.
Pressure-mounted baby gates, or simply expandable baby gates, are very portable as well as easy to install and use. All you need is two flat surfaces which the gate is going to press against, such as a wall and the stair banister. Some plain staircases and elaborate ones do not work well with expandable baby gates. If your staircase is shaped unusually then you might need to use hardware-mounted baby gates.
One disadvantage of such gates is the fact that they, even though they fit your walkway, make quite a narrow space to walk through. You are going to struggle if you decide to take some stuff between your rooms, such as travel bags or suitcases.
Extension pieces for these gates will be available depending on the brand you choose. Such pieces will cost you extra money but they will be of great help if your stairs are wider than typical ones.
It is crucial to remember that expendable baby gates have to be used at the bottom, not the top of your stairs. This is because the weight of your little one may cause it to fall and slip. Naturally, the fall is much higher from the top than it is from the bottom of the stairs. Even though expandable stairs have some disadvantages, a lot of parents swear by them.
In case your baby loves to climb and explore, it is advised to use a taller gate. Besides, it is always great to get one that can be easily operated with just one hand.
Some expandable baby gates come with the optional mounts included in the price. In such cases, you can use gates that match at the top as well as the bottom of your stairs. The expandable gate should be put at the bottom in such cases, and the optional hardware mounted one should be placed at the top.
Top of the Staircase
There’s a big chance that you have a lot less space at the top of your stairs than at the base, which is why you need to secure your baby proof stairs much better at the top part.
You want to make sure that your baby gate is as tall as possible at the top of the stairs to secure your childproof stairs the best way possible. By doing this you will be preventing your kid from climbing over the gate and falling even if there is something it can climb on near the banister.
Keep in mind that the baby gate you put at the top of your stairs will have to be hardware mounted.
Baby Planet Overview
Securing your home is essential once you become a parent. This is why you will also have to secure your staircase since your child can easily hurt itself by falling. Installing a baby gate at the top and bottom of your stairs is simple and straightforward, but it provides you with security and safety for your child.
If you are not sure how to install the baby gate don’t hesitate to contact a professional and get adequate help.
- Tips for childproofing your staircase, doormonkey.com