How to Baby-Proof a Stair Rail


Baby-proofing is an important part of keeping a home safe for babies. This is particularly true in homes with more than one level. Babies are often fearless until their first big fall, which makes the stairs a particularly hazardous area. Depending on the layout of the stairs, the entire staircase may need to be baby-proofed, including the top and bottom of the stairs and the railing.

Things You'll Need

  • Baby gate
  • Railing net
  • Place a baby gate at the top and bottom of the stairs. Use gates that are installed by screwing or bolting them to the railings and wall. Pressure-mounted gates seem desirable because they do not damage the walls, but if a baby pushes hard enough against a pressure-mounted gate, the gate may release and the baby may fall down the stairs.

  • Measure the distance between the spindles of the railing. If they are spaced wider than the slats on a standard crib (about 2 3/8 inches), install a railing net. Railing nets cover the railing so babies can't fit their heads or bodies between the spindles.

  • Move objects away from the railing. Babies can quickly climb onto both decorative and day-to-day items and then topple over the railing. Keep portable items or items on wheels tucked away so the baby can't push them over to the railing and then climb on them.

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  • "Mommy Can Do It: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Baby-Proofing"; Kelly A. Smith; September 2006
  • "Your Baby's First Year For Dummies"; James Gaylord et al.; June 2005
  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
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