Stair Safety - Keeping Staircases Safe In Your HomeBy Child Safety Specialist Apr 28 , 2011 | 9:45:00 amPosted in: Home, Home Security Tips
For toddlers and seniors, staircases can be treacherous places. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every year over eight million people are treated for fall-related injuries and over 18,000 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries. Falls are also the leading cause of unintentional injuries for kids under the age of 14 with the most serious accidents happening to children under age 3.
While not all of these falls happen on staircases, a good majority do. And it’s not only seniors and toddlers who need to be careful on stairs. High heels, stockinged feet and purses that get caught on bannisters are all causes for stair mishaps for women as well.
Here are some tips for keeping staircases as safe as possible:
• Keep all stairs well lit, both indoors and outdoors. Inside stairs that lead to a dark area such as a garage or a basement need extra lighting to prevent slips and falls. Outside stairs should have sensor lights on the sides or bottom of the stairs.
• Check all stairs seasonally for rotting wood and/or termites, etc. Make sure that the banisters are secured and are safe for use. If you have children in the home, consider installing a second banister that’s at a more appropriate height.
• Stairs are slippery when wet. Leaves, snow and rain can make both inside and outside steps treacherous. Be sure to have non-skid treads on all staircases.
• Due to poor vision, seniors are most likely to misjudge and fall on the last step. Consider painting the bottom step a bright color to make it more visible.
• Refrain from placing items at the bottom of staircases, intending to carry them up later on. It’s too easy to forget and have them become a major tripping hazard.
• If you have a toddler in the home, be sure to install a hardware-mounted gate at the top of the stairs that will automatically lock and has a safety mechanism to prevent it from opening over the stairs.
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