If you are looking to add a deck onto your home, or you currently have one but are concerned about safety, there are some things you can do to ensure your deck is a safe place for the whole family. Many new parents are concerned about the safety of their deck for their children, and with good reason. For homeowners with high decks, this can be even more concerning, but there are helpful ways to make your deck a safer place. Let’s look at some deck safety tips for families with children.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about deck safety is often deck railings. In Maryland, decks must be built to certain specifications to ensure they are up to regulations. These regulations should ensure the deck’s railings are up to code and safe for the family, but on older decks this sometimes is not the case. Perhaps you have a very old deck with railings that do not meet the requirements. Or perhaps your deck railings have too much space between the rails because of the material you choose for them (wrought iron railings, for example). Replacing old, weak, or insufficient deck railings with new, kid-safe material is a great way to reduce the risk of an accident on your deck.
In addition to railings, if your deck has stairs you will want to install a gate at the top and bottom of those stairs. Small children can easily fall down the stairs, and on a deck, that could potentially be a very long fall. When having a gate installed on your stairs, you’ll want to make sure the gate has a lock or clasp that isn’t easily opened by children is well-secured to the deck railings. Using a portable gate, such as a baby gate, isn’t advisable and could result in the gate falling when pushed.
One thing many parents may not consider is the placement of furniture on the deck. While the railings may be high enough to prevent small children from climbing over them and falling, furniture may give them the leg up they need to climb. When you have small children, you will want to ensure furniture is placed away from the edges of the deck, so that little ones can’t use it for climbing.
Checking Decking Boards Frequently
Another potential hazard for small children is splinters and burns. Deck boards can get extremely hot during the summer months in Maryland, which can lead to burnt bare feet. Splinters are also another concern for little ones, as their feet are softer and more likely to get a splinter. To prevent splinters and burns, it’s always a good idea for kids to wear shoes while spending time on the deck. If you are considering building a new deck, you may want to consider Trex or another composite material that not only lasts longer, but also do not splinter or retain heat like traditional pressure treated wood does.
Build a Kid-Safe Deck with a Maryland Decking Company
Having a deck is a great way to increase your living space and enjoy the outdoors. Keeping your family safe on your deck is essential, but with some simple steps you can ensure your children will remain safe while enjoying the outdoors. At North American Deck & Patio, your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities. We are a new deck builder in Crofton, MD with many years of experience and countless happy customers. We’d love to help you with your decking needs, so give us a call today to get started!