According to a 2005 issue of the U.S. magazine The Week, using stairs/staircases “produces more nonfatal injuries each year than motor vehicle accidents.”
The report went on to add: “Every year, an estimated 1,091 American stair climbers are killed and 769,400 are injured.”
When determining what major missteps caused such serious falls, it was said that “generally, people misjudge the distance and plant one of their feet wrong,” so continued the magazine.
If those statistics aren’t frightening enough, according to a 2007 University of Virginia Health System newsletter, “more than 2.5 million emergency room visits each year are related to childhood falls.”
Surprisingly enough, the majority of these accidents are preventable.
Therefore, when using metal staircases in the public and in your private home, here are some simple safety tips every family should keep in mind.
A.) The Condition Of The Modern Staircase.
Always ensure that the oak staircase is in proper condition. A frequent inspections should include:
1. Checking for loose screws that secure the banister and handrails in place, thereby preventing potentially dangerous falls.
2. In the event the curved staircase is carpeted, keep an eye out for loose or ripped carpeting, since this can cause tripping as well.
3. Add handrails and banisters to staircases that possess none.
4. Ensure all lighting surrounding the stairs are in working order.
B.) Open Staircase Safety For The Kids.
There is nothing more important to parents than the safety of their own children.
Therefore, iron staircase safety for children can be achieved by following these simple tips:
1. Never leave small children unattended around the staircases – even those that are gated.
2. Ensure that hardware-mounted safety gates are installed at the top and bottom of the staircase.
* Tip: Avoid using accordion style gates with large openings, since they can trap a small child.
3. In the event free access to the staircase is needed, install a safety gate at the door of your child’s room to prevent them from reaching the top of the stairs.
4. If your child is able to fit through the winding staircase guardrails, place a guard on the banister and railings.
5. Depending on your child’s mobility, demonstrate to him or her how to crawl down the staircase backwards, using their hands and knees.
C.) Exterior Staircase Safety For The Whole Family.
Contemporary staircase safety isn’t just limited to small children. Older children and other members of the family should abide by a set of safety rules as well.
1. Always keep stairways clear of toys, shoes, and other items that could cause tripping.
2. Never run up or down the staircase.
3. Never allow horse playing at the top of the stairs.
4. When carrying items up the staircase, ensure that said items are not obstructing one’s view. In addition, avoid carrying a load that is too heavy for a single person.
5. When carrying large items that require two individuals, have someone positioned at the top of the staircase to verbally guide you along, and take it slow.
6. Always pay close attention to your footing.
D.) Staircase safety away from home
Since you can’t control how others maneuver up and down public stairs, keeping these simple safety tips in mind will reduce your family’s risk of falling:
1. While going up or down public staircases, keep an eye out for others as well as your family and yourself.
2. Be careful not to bump or knock into others while you’re maneuvering your way up and down.
3. Ensure that both you and your child have a tight hold on the railing – or banister if the child cannot reach the handrail.
4. If others are in a rush, stand to the side and allow them access before you continue on.
5. If you possess a stroller, or are loaded down with packages, use the available elevators instead.
6. While walking up the attic staircase with child in hand, take slow and steady steps to ensure that both you and your child reach the top safely.
*Tip: If you’re carrying a child in your arms, it’s safer to use an elevator if available.
7. Never lounge around the top of the staircase once you reach the top.
8. Pay apt attention to your footing.
Staircase safety inside and outside the home is vital to reducing potentially serious falls. With a little common sense, and the help of these useful safety tips, parents can reduce their family’s risks immensely.