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Childproofing a Staircase

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Staircase with widely spaced rungs

May 2002

We have a staircase with quite widely spaced rungs. I would like to teach my son to be careful rather than go crazy babyproofing every inch of the house but the staircase really poses a lot of dangers. Because we rent our home, we cannot do anything too drastic. I'm wondering what others have done in their homes. Any suggestions will be very much appreciated! Amanda P.


Regarding the staircase; we have a similar problem on our staircase -- both the rungs being widely spaced apart, and the bottom rail being unacceptably high above the ground. What we've used that seems to work very well is a stuff called ''Kid Shield.'' It's a very heavy, clear plastic that you can attach to the rungs of the stairway (with something like velcro or zipties). It's nice for two reasons: 1) you don't have to change the stairway and 2) you don't really notice it, because it's clear. As an aside, my son really likes the result; he ''bangs'' on the plastic and it makes a bit of noise that he finds very appealing. I don't know if you can buy it locally; I got mine off the internet -- it comes in various length rolls. Karen
My friend addressed a similar problem with her balcony by securing heavy-duty plastic netting (webs are about 2 or 3-in square) across the rails. You can probably find it at Home Depot. Teresa
I don't have inside stairs, but I have definitely heard of people blocking off stairs with zip ties and baby gates, again using screw eyes on the inside wall. Hope this helps. Jennie
One way to baby proof stair railings is with bird or deer netting (lightweight plastic with 1cm openings; available at most garden supply stores) attached with zip ties. Jennifer
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