The Number One hazard for children under the age of 19 are falls, which are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the U.S. for this age group. Thousands of youngsters wind up in emergency rooms every day for injuries related to falling. What can be done to prevent such injuries in the home? We watch our children as best we can, but we all know they can get into trouble quick. In trying to fathom how so many children can be injured on a daily basis from something as simple as slipping and falling, we need to consider an important factor, which is height. Oftentimes, when observing small children at play, we are amazed at their dexterity and ability to take what looks like a fairly serious tumble and hop right back up. Imagine a small child falling a distance equivalent to the average height of an adult, and we begin to see where the danger lies. With this to consider, let’s closer look at one of the most important areas to childproof in a home: staircases.
The first thing that probably comes to mind when examining child safety in relation to stairways and staircases is a safety gate, and with good reason: falling downstairs can be a serious hazard for an infant or toddler who is just learning to navigate his or her surroundings. When kids get a little older they like to climb. When properly installed, high-quality safety gates can help eliminate this possibility. A home inspector should inspect the stair railings and balusters to make sure they are not climbable. (See our NEW HOME ISSUES GALLERY) New El Paso homes are being sold with “Climbable Railings”.