For whatever reason, most children are drawn like a magnet to banisters and lofts. They love to try to stick their head through the railings, drop toys and rattle the banister like they are stuck in a cage. The thought of a stuck head or a dangerous fall is enough to terrify most parents.
To be considered “safe”, your banisters should have openings no wider than 4 inches to ensure that your child cannot get his or head stuck through the railing or somehow squeeze through and fall. If your home was built relatively recently, chances are that your banister meets this standard.
Of course, there is also the risk, however slight, that your child’s roughhousing will break the banister and cause a serious fall. There are some easy ways to babyproof your banister until your child loses interest in it.
Babyproofing Banisters: Tips
First, you should remove any light furniture that can be pushed to access the balcony. The last thing you want is for your child to climb on furniture and be able to fall over the top of the balcony. Move lightweight furniture to a different, off-limits room until your child is older.
Second, consider making the banister area off-limits, if possible. Depending on how your home is setup, you might be able to install baby gates to block off the area completely.
Babyproofing Banisters: Recommended Products
There is really only one product as far as banisters go: the banister guard. I like the Kidkushion Banister Guard. It’s a long, thin, plastic sheet that is easily installed with zip ties and can be cut to fit your space.
- Nearly impossible for children to open
- Easy access for adults
- Aesthetically pleasing; mounts to inside of cabinet
- Must keep track of magnetic key to open cabinets
- Requires drilling
- Installation more difficult than other options
Babyproofing Banisters: DIY Options
If you’re the handy type, head on over to Home Depot and get some thin plastic and zip ties. You’ll need to cut and punch holes in the appropriate spots. Although this might save you some money, the truth is that the thin, high-quality plastic is expensive enough that you are probably better off just buying a ready-made solution.