Child fall safety in your new home

Kid with a cape

Sometimes it’s just part of being a kid, falling out of trees, off bikes and from playground equipment. Children normally fall from small heights they’re little and so they don’t fall a long way but if a child were to fall from say the height of an adult 5 or 6 ft they can be easily injured and can even need a hospital visit. Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries among children. Here are a few tips to prevent injury.

Staircase Safety

As any parent can tell you keeping young children off stairs can be a fulltime job. Baby or safety gates are the best option. Two kinds of safety gates are common, the first is a pressure mounted gate, The gate press out against a wall or doorway creation a temporary barrier for small children. Pressure mounted gates are good for doorways and the bottom of stairs but should never be used at the top of a staircase there is a risk of the gate being pushed down the stairs. The second type of gate is a hardware mounted gate these gates are mounted securely with screws so they are not easy to removable nor are they easy to push over.

steep stairs without railing found at an inspection

During a home inspection one item comes up a lot and it is a lack of handrails. Young children and older people are most at risk of falls down stairs, and railings should be used on any stairway with more than 4 risers. A securely fitted handrail running the length of the stair, that is at least 34 inches tall and no more than 38 inches high with balusters not more than 4 inches apart this is to prevent small children from having their head stuck.

Windows

toddler looking out window

Windows can pose an even greater risk to young children principally ones higher off the ground. Even the first story window can be dangerous. Last year in the United States over 4,000 children received treatment in emergency rooms due to falling from Windows. That is why over a hundred and twenty deaths have been attributed to window falls since 1990 in the US. One of the easiest ways to ensure window safety for young children is to make sure that there is no furniture in front of Windows that a child can climb on. As the child gets older latches and guards should be in place to keep children from opening Windows on Second Story floors. as with stairs, the opening should be no more than 4 inches

Balconies and Railings

Patio railing noted by inspector for being unsafe for young children

Even low patios can benefit from having a railing to ensure that small children do not tumble off as with the balusters on stair railings the spacing should be no more than 4 in and should be vertical, not horizontal as horizontal supports can be used as a ladder.

Dunn Right Inspections is family owned and we know that your new home can be a wonderful place. Helping you make sure its safe for you and your children is one of our greatest rewards.

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