Having a deck is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with family and friends. If you have young kids, you must ensure your deck is as safe as possible. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to create a kid-safe deck.
Important Safety Considerations
When making your deck safe for children, consider their developmental stages. The way that young children move around is different from the way that teenagers and adults move. Children are more likely to trip, fall, and get injured on a deck than adults because they don’t have the same physical capabilities. For example, an infant or toddler may not see a loose deck board and could trip and fall on it. Common deck hazards for young children include:
- Broken boards and loose nails
- Loose railings
- Slippery surfaces
- Unsecured furniture
- Outdoor kitchens or grills
7 Tips for Improving Deck Safety
Take the time to inspect and childproof your deck to create a safe environment for children. Even relatively minor issues can be a severe hazard for the youngest members of your family. Follow these tips to create a kid-safe deck.
1. Add Safety Gates
Consider adding safety features such as gates, non-slip surfaces, and additional handrails to make your deck kid-friendly. Install gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, if applicable. Safety gates ensure young children can’t access the stairs without adult supervision. These features can help prevent falls and make your deck safer for your children and pets.
2. Cover Electrical Outlets
As you would in your home, cover all outdoor electrical outlets with child safety covers. Also, be mindful when using extension cords, as they can create a tripping hazard.
3. Repair or Replace Protruding Fasteners
Check for exposed screws or nails, and make sure all hardware is flush with the deck. Rusty, bent, or broken nails or screws are dangerous and should be removed and replaced.
4. Ensure Railings are Secure
Railings that are installed incorrectly can lead to severe accidents. If a child tries to climb over a railing, it can easily break, causing them to fall. If a railing is too narrow, a child may be able to slip through it and fall. Elevated decks should have a properly installed guardrail. Kids are natural climbers, so higher railings are a smart choice.
5. Keep Things Clean
The basics of deck maintenance, such as sweeping and cleaning regularly, will help keep your deck safe. Children are naturally curious and may touch or ingest debris on your deck, which can lead to illness or injury. Regular cleaning will reduce the potential of these problems occurring.
6. Choose the Right Deck Furniture
It’s also essential to ensure that any deck furniture is safe and will not break, tip over, or fall on a child. Remember that young children may climb on furniture to look over the railing. Keep furnishings away from the sides of your deck to prevent this potential safety hazard.
7. Incorporate Safe Play Areas
Create designated play areas on your deck. Provide toys, games, and books for them to enjoy. Ensure play areas are well-lit and keep hazardous items out of reach. Rounding off corners and adding a non-slip surface will make it safer for children to play on a deck.
Supervision is Essential
There are many ways to make your deck safe for kids and pets. Regular safety inspections will help prevent accidents. If you have a grill, outdoor kitchen, or hot tub on your deck, ensure children always have adult supervision. Monitor their activities to ensure they play safely, and don’t allow them to climb on railings or play near hot grills. Inspecting a deck before allowing your children to play on it is vital when visiting family or friends.
Why Choose RT Construction?
The professionals at RT Construction can create a kid-safe deck providing an enjoyable outdoor space for your entire family. If you’re ready to start designing your outdoor living space, working with an experienced contractor is essential. Whether you have a design in mind or want to explore other options, RT Construction can design and build your ideal outdoor living space.
RT Construction has completed residential and commercial projects in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas with precision and quality for over 25 years. We take pride in our work, and your satisfaction is guaranteed. We design and install decks, patio covers, and underdecking systems at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our employees are licensed, insured, and bonded for your protection. Contact us online or call 636-317-5636 to schedule a consultation and free estimate.