Decks and balconies can be a relaxing addition to any home. But they can pose a serious threat to young children. Babies and toddlers are naturally curious and unaware of any serious dangers. Children can easily get trapped between railing or slip through and fall. This is why it is important to take into account your child’s safety for your deck installation.
Child Safety Measures
Curious children are fast, and an accident can happen in the blink of an eye. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) estimates that out of 45 million decks, only 40 percent of them are safe. With that in mind, the CDC reports that falls account for 50 percent of nonfatal injuries for children under the age of one. Our Tacoma deck experts advise to never leave your child unattended on the deck.
Here are some easy ways to childproof your deck:
Add a Gate
If you let your little ones out on the deck, having a gate to block the stairs is a must. It will serve as a barrier and protect your child from any potential tumbles down the stairs. While the gate is being installed, you will want to make sure that the latch is high enough out of your child’s reach. A gate can also keep any unwanted backyard critters away.
Install Safety Guards
When childproofing your deck, it’s important to take into consideration the layout of the deck. The railings shouldn’t be more than 4 inches apart, otherwise a child could fall through or get stuck. An effective solution would be to be to install additional rails, netting or a plexiglass balcony shield around the railing.
A plexiglass shield is a durable option that also maintains the overall appearance of your deck. This isn’t a easy product to install however. You will want to have a professional to help you cut it to size and install.
The other option is to use deck netting. Deck netting is a mesh style netting that is designed for the outdoors and can be easily installed.
Have Child-Friendly Patio Furniture
Take a look at your patio furniture layout. If you have any benches or outdoor furniture that is up against the railing, consider moving them a few inches in. Don’t give your child the chance to climb the furniture and go over the edge.
Springtime and summer in the Pacific Northwest is prime barbecuing season. To keep your child safe, cover your barbecue and any other cooking equipment when not in use. Stow away any propane tanks or hazardous liquids in a location that your child cannot get to.
Consult with Your Tacoma Deck Builders
At Cascade Deck & Fence Company, we want your deck to be enjoyed by the whole family. There’s nothing worse than witnessing your child become injured because you didn’t take the proper precautions. Our experience contractors at Cascade Deck & Fence can provide the proper advice and guidance during your deck installation to ensure that it is completely safe for your family. Give us a call at (253) 753-1137 with any questions you may have about childproofing your deck.