Functional purpose and types of children’s fences
Children are restless and mobile people. Most often, they choose exactly the direction of movement, where difficulties and obstacles lie in wait for them on the way. Many families prefer to have two-level housing, both private houses and apartments. Almost all modern cottages and townhouses have two floors. This arrangement of living rooms makes the building compact, providing a large living space.
An obligatory element of multi-level buildings is a staircase. If there is a child in the house, it becomes a traumatic object. All methods of fencing for children in the form of a “barricade” of chairs are a thing of the past. Today, the industry produces special designs that act as an obstacle to the baby’s path, ensuring the safety of the child’s life and health, as well as peace of mind for the parents. Having created the necessary safety conditions, parents may not control every step of their child.
The main types of barriers for children include the following designs:
Gates and wickets, that is, elements that function as doors to the stairs from children, are the most common options. Barriers are more cumbersome than wickets, they do not swing open. The sides of the stairs, in which the balusters are located at a considerable distance, are usually covered with nets and gratings. The type of barrier is usually selected depending on the specific conditions and dimensions of the stairs.
Basic requirements for stair railings
Everything that children use must be performed in accordance with certain requirements. They should have a vertical side fence, where the rods are at a distance of 5-7 cm, so that no part of the baby’s body can squeeze between them. Ladders must be equipped with handrails installed at a height of 50 cm, strong metal locks, silicone coating of traumatic parts.
Childproof staircase helps parents create a safe indoor space. They should know the requirements for children’s protective structures. And they are as follows:
- Ladder protection is made of material resistant to mechanical stress.
- The attachment points and connections are strong.
- The applied lock is equipped with a lock.
- The dimensions of the sides of the mesh cells should not exceed 6-7 cm.
- The distance between the vertical elements of the gate is 5-7 cm.
- The height of the fence is 60-90 cm.
The top edge of the protective structure should be at most in the middle of the baby’s chest. If the line is lower, there is a danger that the child will hang over the railing and end up on the other side of the fence. Injury can be sustained both as a result of a fall and while walking up stairs.
Useful advice! It is better to purchase fences for the stairs from children with a margin of height, otherwise after 1-2 years the fence will have to be replaced, since it will not meet the necessary requirements.
Materials used in the manufacture of fences for a child
As mentioned above, it is very important what material the staircase is made of. First of all, it is necessary that it be a structure from which pieces will not break off after a child’s car of a solid size has entered it or a helicopter crashed into it. During intensive contact, splinters should not appear in the baby’s body. It is necessary to exclude possible negative consequences from the desire to taste – to lick the structure.
The main materials used to protect stairs from children are:
There are options for fences for stairs made of combined materials. It can be a combination of metal and wood, metal and plastic, wood and textiles, metal and polymer mesh.
Despite the fact that the staircase fence is an item of temporary use, the homeowners try not to spoil the interior and select the design in accordance with the design features of the room. Manufacturers produce metal products in calm shades. In wood, they strive to retain their natural color and structure. Plastic options are more expressive, bright. Hardware and fasteners must also match the design of the structure.
Each type of material has its own advantages and disadvantages, both in terms of price and in terms of performance. To make the right choice, you need to familiarize yourself with the main characteristics of the products.
Ladder railings for children made of wood or metal
Many people prefer to install a wooden staircase in the house. The trend is clear – the desire for environmental friendliness and presentable appearance. They also tend to acquire doors to the stairs from children from similar material. Wooden fences fit perfectly into the interior of the premises.
Most often, wooden structures are made of first-class pine wood, since knots and cracks affect not so much aesthetics as the strength of the structure. Products are inexpensive, lightweight, functional. The issue of environmental friendliness deserves special attention. Despite the high-quality base material, the fence can be toxic due to the paint and varnish applied to it.
Useful advice! If there is no official confirmation of the non-toxicity of the coating of a wooden fence, it is better to give preference to a product treated with impregnation.
Metal structures are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel. Products have rounded corners for safety. Metal stair gates are more expensive than wooden ones, but they are more durable. The level of their environmental friendliness is not in doubt, the products are easy to clean, there are no traces on them even under significant mechanical stress.
Safety gates for stairs made of polymer materials
The constant complaint about the large number of plastic items in the surrounding space, however, does not diminish their active use. Do not rush to reject plastic fences. Rumors about their harmfulness are not just exaggerated, they are completely unfounded. Modern technologies make it possible to make safe items for children from polymers. The material becomes toxic only when it is exposed to the melting point, which is completely excluded at home.
A plastic fence for a child has a number of undeniable advantages in comparison with products made from other materials:
- has a low price;
- causes pleasant tactile sensations;
- easy to clean;
- does not lose aesthetics for a long time;
- bright colors evoke positive emotions in children.
Despite the lightness, plastic structures are quite rigid. Their last quality is ensured by the volume of the elements and the features of the connecting fasteners.
So that there is no doubt about the harmlessness of the material used in the manufacture of barriers for stairs made of plastic, it is necessary to require a quality certificate from the selling organization. It must contain information that the product is approved for use in childcare facilities. In the absence of such a document, the fence is really not worth purchasing.
Children’s railings for stairs from scrap materials
Many parents are home craftsmen, so they take up the independent production of stair railings for their kids. Most often, the side parts of cribs are used. The child has grown up – the furniture acquires a different functionality. Very beautiful designs are obtained from this improvised material. Often these are gates to the stairs from children. You will need additional bars and fasteners, a lock. You can make a fence from a crib by analogy with the models proposed on the Internet.
It is not difficult to make a fence on the stairs for children from plastic pipes. They are notable for their low price, have different diameters, it is easy to find suitable elements among the fitting options. Preparation doesn’t take much time. To complete the construction, you will need a special soldering iron, which is inexpensive to rent. An analogue for the manufacture of barriers from plastic pipes can be metal products, which are presented in sufficient quantities on selling sites.
A mesh can be used as an improvised material. For stairs, it is worth using only material with small cells so that the child’s leg and hand do not fit in them.
Important! The presence of horizontally located elements provokes children to use them as steps on which to climb.
Both metal and plastic mesh are used. The product, woven from a thick bundle, looks original and is quite functional. The mesh is usually attached to bars or metal pipes. Such structures look light, they complement the interior in an interesting way and reliably protect children from getting on the stairs.
Self-made stair barriers for children
From the materials at hand, you can make a barrier for the stairs from children with your own hands. A barrier is a barrier. In this context, the concept will be used as a fence on the stairs. The easiest way to make such a structure is from plywood. It does not act as a spacer, with the help of rigid fasteners it is fixed on one side to the wall, on the other to the supports of the stairs.
To make such a model you will need:
- two bars 3×3 cm with a groove on one side 1 cm deep and 2-3 mm wide than the thickness of the plywood;
- a sheet of plywood that matches the height of the child and the width of the stairs;
- fasteners depending on the characteristics of the walls and the material of the stairs;
The bars are fixed on both sides of the stairs (their length should be 2/3 of the plywood sheet height) at a distance of 5-7 cm from the floor level. Plywood is inserted into the grooves, with the help of the clamps installed in the lower or upper part, it is blocked from lifting. This type of staircase fence has disadvantages:
- the integrity of the wall is violated;
- the passage of adults is difficult when the barrier is installed.
But the list of advantages is not at all small:
- budget price;
- ease of execution;
- reliable protection;
- the possibility of installing side mounts at the bottom step and on the landing, the barrier itself can be easily carried.
This model of children’s fencing is convenient for installation in summer cottages and in country houses.
Design features of safety gates for children
A common option is to fence the stairs from children in the form of a gate. This design consists of a main frame and two opening halves of the same size. The device is comfortable, most often it opens in both directions. Such fences are made of wood or metal. The dimensions of the flaps are constant and cannot be changed. But the side parts can be increased by additionally purchased sections.
Important! It is worth installing only one section capable of increasing the size. As user experience shows, a larger amount significantly affects the rigidity of the structure, making it wobbly.
The guard is mounted, the sealing elements are made of soft material. To securely adhere the structure to the sides, a thread is applied to the rod holding the stop and an adjusting nut is put on. It is with the help of the latter that the desired rigidity of the installation can be achieved. Some people prefer to fix the stops to the wall on one side using self-tapping screws or other fasteners. This method will certainly enhance the degree of fixation of the protective structure.
Wickets are devices similar to gates for stairs from children. They are made from almost the same materials. Although it should be noted that there are many plastic products among the gates. They open, as a rule, in one direction, differ from the gate in the principle of operation of the locks.
DIY safety gates for children on the stairs
With non-standard dimensions of the stairs, a decision may be made to make a safety gate with your own hands. An excellent option is a structure made of wood and plexiglass (transparent plastic).
For manufacturing you need the following tools:
- electric drill;
- screwdriver or screwdrivers;
- fasteners (screws, screws, etc.);
- fine-grained emery cloth;
- locking mechanism.
The main stages of the work:
- From a bar with a section of 3×4 cm, in which the grooves are preliminarily made, a frame is made to the size of the stairway, taking into account the distance necessary to accommodate the side beams.
- Plexiglass is cut off, inserted into the frame. To prevent the glass from dangling, you can additionally fix it with silicone.
- Bars are attached to the wall and the rack of the stairs, on which the frame will be mounted.
- Hinges are hung, a frame with glass is installed.
- The latch lock is fixed.
When making do-it-yourself safety gates for children, it is very important to correctly complete the locking part. The latch lock should be installed from the side of the steps. In this position, it will be inaccessible to the baby.
Wooden parts of the structure must be perfectly sanded so that they do not have any chipping. Sharp edges can be rounded or sanded. Dim toning will allow the natural pattern of the wood to appear, giving the product an attractive appearance.
Universal fence option: a fence for children
Another type of fence for children in an apartment can be a fence. This design is not intended exclusively for stairs, but quite often it is used for this purpose. The fence consists of a set of sections, which can either be a fence for a separate area or organize a closed space. All of the above structures are fully or partially stationary options. The fence can be installed in any part of the living space.
The advantages of fencing fences include the following characteristics:
- Installation mobility. Such options for fences can be carried with you, moving from one house to another, etc.
- Varying sizes. You can assemble a complete set of sections or only a part of them, depending on what area you need to protect.
- Multifunctionality. Placed before going up the stairs or on the upper platform, before going down, by the fireplace, installed on the lawn, playground, etc.
Such fences for children are made mainly of wood or plastic. Timber structures are compactly packed when assembled, but they are more expensive. Plastic ones are bulkier, but lighter and cheaper. With a closed installation of sections, a soft coating is laid inside the structure, which most often comes with the kit.
Useful advice! For a partial enclosure of the space, it is better to purchase a wooden fence, it is more stable in an open position.
What to consider when choosing children’s fences for the home
A cursory glance at the staircase guardrail designs may appear to be identical. In fact, there are many technical features to consider when choosing a design.
Particular attention should be paid to the following nuances:
- Compliance of the staircase with the dimensions of the structure. The gaps between the fence, walls and balusters should be no more than 3-5 cm.
- Availability of automatic latching of the lock. This is one of the components of security (often incomplete closing of the door goes unnoticed), as well as a condition for comfortable use.
- Bonding strength of ladder protection elements for children, especially in wooden versions. It is better if it is glueless, such as “thorn-groove”.
- Mandatory availability of a quality certificate. This will give a guarantee that a product that is safe for the baby’s health is purchased. In addition, it is desirable to have a document confirming the authenticity of the goods.
- Wicket swing angle. Better if it is 180 °. This position is convenient to use, even if the hands of an adult are busy.
When purchasing a safety fence for a ladder for a child, you need to ask the sales representative to assemble the structure and try to exert a mechanical effect on it. The presence of assembly flaws will certainly show up. If the item is purchased via the Internet, you should familiarize yourself not only with the description of the product on the site, but also with user reviews.
Decorative design of fences on the stairs from children
The design of many stair rails is almost the same. There are several explanations for this phenomenon:
- design features are subject to certain requirements that ensure the safety of the child;
- the standard design is verified, it makes the structures visually light;
- shades such as white, silver and natural wood are able to organically fit into any interior.
And if you don’t like the design? You can of course make adjustments by adding vibrant colors. There are many possibilities if the structure is made by yourself. You can paint the main frame in one color, and apply rainbow shades for vertically arranged rods. Such a children’s gate-fence for stairs will be appropriate if the child’s play area is located nearby. “Rainbow” can also be used to design a barrier-fence made of plywood.
Useful advice! Do not paint the fence with bright pictures and characters recognizable by the child. This will draw the child’s attention to the subject, which is undesirable.
Plywood elements can be decorated with curly cutting. Plexiglass inserts can be easily supplemented with engraving, depicting the sun, butterflies and other positively influencing objects.
Child stair railing: operating conditions
It is necessary to choose a fence for stairs from children based on the specific conditions of placement. In this regard, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the description based on the difference in designs in terms of installation and operation.
- Folding. Convenient for those planning to transport the structure. It is inappropriate to place such a product, blocking the passage to the stairs.
- Fixed width. They should be purchased by those who will perform the installation in one specific location.
- Sliding. Universal protections. This modification allows you to adjust the width of the fence, thereby expanding the functionality of the structure and making it possible to install it not only on stairs, but also on doorways.
- High bottom braces will be inconvenient not only for children, but also for adults.
- The method of fastening the partition for stairs from children must correspond to the characteristics of the supports. If the stairs have wrought-iron side rails with an ornate pattern, the installation of the rails may not work. In such cases, it is better to use fixing with fasteners.
- When more than one augmentation section is added, the structure loses its rigidity significantly. It is better to choose an option of suitable dimensions without the need to install additional parts.
Taking care of the child’s health is the responsibility of the parents, enshrined in the “Family Code”. And if there is a staircase in the house or apartment, then the purchase of a protective fence becomes mandatory. This is because even a few seconds of weakening attention to the location of the baby can lead to bruises, abrasions and more serious problems.