The Risk of a child dying from a stairway fall is less than 1 in 2 million (as per a June 2008 article published in the Official Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics – The Annual Risk of Death Resulting From Short Falls Among Young Children.) , when it comes to children be treated in hospital emergency wards, one of the leading causes of injuries is from stairway falls. Although the death rate is low, the injury rate is quite high.
One would think that if this is one of the most common causes of injuries, that parents and guardians would take more precautions to ensure that their precious little ones are safe from these types of injuries.
Some might argue the point that safety precautions are not necessary based on the fact that these falls usually do not result in a serious injury. Come on folks, there is no reason that a fall should happen in the first place.
There are simple precautions that can easily be taken to prevent a child from falling down any stairway. In my opinion, stairway gates are at the top of the list for ensuring your child's safety.
Stairway gates are an inexpensive way to keep a child from harms way and many parents may not realize that these gates have come a long way from the original accordion style gates.
Today's gates are designed to fit the decor of your home, so that they are not a constant eyesore. The gates are also designed to be more functional than the original gates (center swinging doorways, improved clasps for ease of use and for safety).
One of the most common concerns that people have with stairway gates, is the need to secure the gates to a stairway railing. Putting screw holes into railing posts or spindles is the last thing that anyone would want to be doing. Fortunately, some gate manufacturers have found solutions for this issue.
There are three types of railing clamps that have been developed to enable the proper securing of a stairway gate, and at the same time protect wood or iron railings from any damage. These clamps are secured to the posts without the need for screws, and the gate then is mounted securely to the clamps by screwing the gate mounts to the clamps.
For wooden posts, there are round clamps designed to fit most round posts and square clamps designed for most square posts. Quite often a railing post will be square at the bottom and round toward the top, so using one of each type handles the job.
There are some situations where a gate would need to be mounted to railing spindles instead of the posts. A special clamp has been designed to clamp around two spindles so as to strengthen the gate mount and protect the spindles from damage. This same scenario also works well for wrought iron railings where screws just could not apply.
It's Up to You:
Today there are really no excuses for not providing stairway safety for your children. The gates that are made for stairways today can work around just about any concerns that you may have.
Your child's safety is all up to you. Do not put this off until you find yourself in an emergency room, thinking if only I had done this or that. No matter how great of a parent we are, we can not keep an eye on our children every second of the day.
Install stairway gates and keep your child safe and secure.