Keep Them Away From Stairs (as often as possible)
Ok, starting an article about baby-proofing the staircase in your home with the oh-so-simple advice of ‘keep the baby away from the stairs’, seems more than a little unhelpful. However, this is actually a really very useful suggestion because, by keeping the baby away from the stairs, you are limiting their contact with them and therefore, keeping them safe.
Buy a baby gate (or two)
When babies become toddlers and get more mobile, one of the best ways to protect your baby is by getting a couple of gates to keep them away from the top and also, the bottom of the stairs. The baby gate that you buy will depend on your staircase and your needs; it can be as simple as choosing a wooden gate over a metal gate, or a gate that you can screw into the wall over one that you can screw into to the banister itself. Stores like Tesco stock a variety of different baby gates.
When purchasing a baby gate, be sure to think about your home first and what needs to be done to prepare.
- Research types of baby gates. If you have an open staircase, look for a 3-in-1 gate, which extends to create a protective playpen around the bottom of the stairs. Please note, pressure mounted baby gates are designed to be used for rooms on the same floor, but not for stairs.
- Declutter everything, especially the stairs. Some people use their staircase as a place to store things, like books and clothes, but when you have small children in your home, this cannot be an option. When starting to declutter don’t just limit yourself to the stairs, but also the area around the stairs.
- Rearrange furniture. Move furniture and other items that a toddler could climb on to bypass the stair gate and access the stairs, such as bookcases and chairs. Also, make sure that both the entrance and exit of the staircase is clear, so the kids don’t trip.
- Don’t forget the railing! The banister can also cause problems, as young children can fall down the stairs if they don’t use it correctly. Look into buying a banister guard — a sheet of clear plastic or netting that covers up all the gaps in the banister — if you think this will be a problem.
- Carpet the stairs. Carpet is much easier for young children to work with and, if they should take a tumble coming down the stairs, it’ll be much softer than hardwood flooring.
Image by Dave Herholz used under the Creative Commons License.