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It's a momentous occasion when your child finally masters the art of stair climbing. Getting the hang of it takes time, but in their rush to get from here to there, toddlers are neither patient nor proficient enough to handle stairs safely on their own. To keep your child safe as he handles life's ups and downs, follow these tips:
• Install safety gates at the tops and bottoms of all accessible stairs.
• Repair or replace any torn carpet on the stairs. A child's small foot can snag in places that adults wouldn't find dangerous.
• Keep stairs free of obstacles, and don't store items on them. In addition, kids can stand on items such as chairs on stair landings, and topple over banisters.
• Close open-backed stairs, common in basement or spiral staircases. The backs should be covered securely to prevent a child from slipping through and strangling between steps.
• Install low railings if possible. Once your child has the basics of stair climbing under his belt, he'll want to handle the adventure on his own. An easy-to-reach handrail can help keep him safe.
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.