child home safety, child-proofing, and accidental injury prevention in stairways and staircases: man using drill to secure staircase rail
Photo: Courtesy of Home Safety Council
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Stairs and Floors

Home Safety Council research names falls as the leading cause of home injury across nearly all age groups. Here are some precautions you can take to avoid accidental trips and slips.

• "Install hardware-mounted gates into the walls where needed, especially at staircase landings. Pressure gates aren't stable enough for your home where baby will be spending most of his or her time," advises Rhodes of

Clean spills on uncarpeted floors promptly to prevent slips. Encourage and reward tidiness from a young age and the chances of tripping over your teenager's skateboard will be smaller.

Consider installing "handrails" on both sides of your staircase and padded stair runners to soften the blow if someone does take a tumble.

Use nightlights in halls and near stairs. Make sure there's a dependable light source at every staircase, and don't slack on replacing bulbs.

Keep stairs and floors clear of clutter. Vacuum often to pick up staples and other small hazards. Try to locate and retrieve dropped paper clips, pins, or medication (pills), and the like immediately after realizing you've dropped them.

The key to prevention is awareness. If you have another tip or idea, share it in the comment section below.
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