Stairs Safety for Children: A Comprehensive Guide
It may sound like something completely crazy, but teaching your toddler to go up and down stairs may be the best way to keep her safe and sound.
It may sound like something completely crazy, but teaching your toddler to go up and down stairs may be the best way to keep her safe and sound. First things first: As soon as your loved one starts to move around by herself, make sure to install safety gates at the top and at the bottom of the stairs in your home. When that’s done, you can start teaching her how to go up and down the stairs, just in case she ever finds herself faced with stairs and you’re not around. Teaching her how to use stairs is a much better alternative to constantly running after her and forbidding their use altogether.
Start off slowly. Let her practice with the bottom three stairs where a tumble won’t do much harm. Show her how to hold the bannister while going up or down. It is easier for her to learn how to go up stairs (going down requires balance she doesn’t quite have yet), so let her scoot down from stair to stair while sitting down on her way down. Let her practice as much as you can. While the first three stairs are relatively safe, stay close by and offer support when she needs it.
Once she’s comfortable with the first few steps, it’s time to take it to the top. Remind her to hold on to the rail and stay a step or two behind to prevent any potential tumbling. On her way down, stay a couple of steps in front of her, so you can catch her if need be.
Keep the gates in place until she has really mastered going up and down by herself, especially if she tends to wake up at night and walk around.