When you add a deck to your home, you want the whole family to be able to enjoy it – including your children! Of course, depending on the age and size of your children, you may have to take some extra precautions to ensure they can safely enjoy it. But if you’re asking yourself where to start when child-proofing your deck, consider this your guide. Below we will cover our top tips for child-proofing your deck in perfect time for summer!
Step 1: Add Some Locks
We’ll start with one of the easiest additions to make to your home to ensure the safety of your children – adding locks to deck access points. Whether it’s your backyard door or the gate to the deck steps, ensuring these entrances are locked up will prevent children from accessing the deck unsupervised. You don’t have to choose a specific child-proofing lock either, rather a simple flip lock that’s high enough off the ground will do the trick.
Step 2: Check Your Railings
Likely the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of childproofing your deck is the gaps between the rails on your deck. Even if you think the gap is too small for your child to fit through, hands, arms, and legs can all get stuck in these gaps leading to an uncomfortable situation. To remedy the issue, consider adding a mesh behind the railings to eliminate any gaps that are present. If you don’t care for the look of mesh, there are companies that create plexiglass panes that can be attached to the back of your deck rails. Not only will this eliminate potentially dangerous gaps, but you won’t have to worry about the look of your outdoor space being altered.
Step 3: Block The Stairs
Although we mentioned adding locks to doors or gates to prevent deck access, deck stair access should also be prevented. You can add a child gate for temporary blockage, or if you’re looking for something more permanent, consider constructing a gate that matches the look and feel of the rest of your deck. With the second option you have the added benefit of keeping pets on or off your deck. Not only will a gate prevent children from accessing the deck unsupervised, but it will prevent them from falling down the stairs or accessing the rest of the backyard without permission.
Step 4: Pay Attention to Furniture Placement
The last thing you want to do is provide an easy way for children to climb over the deck railing, and unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize that patio furniture can do just that. Of course, we’re not suggesting to eliminate all furniture completely, just be thoughtful of the placement of the furniture on your deck. Keep furniture away from the edges of your deck and don’t choose any that’s so light that a child could move.
For all of your decking, gate, and fencing needs, give our experts a call at Austex. We’ll be happy to discuss your project with you and provide suggestions based on our years of experience – give us a call today!