Whether it's a fence around your yard or a safety railing around a balcony or along some steps, making sure it is a suitable railing for your child is a must. Not all railings are created equally, especially when it comes to child safety. When choosing a railing, the following tips can ensure you make the right choice.
Tip #1: Opt for a smooth top
Decorative railings may have pointed pickets or decorative spikes, either along the entire top or as finials atop the posts. This is because pointed tops can lead to injury if your child does manage to pull themselves onto the railing. They can also provide a handhold for a child to grasp, increasing their chances of climbing over and hurting themselves. If you do opt for a fence railing that requires finials, opt for flat-topped designs.
Tip #2: Go for wider options
Thin railings are easy for small hands to grasp, which means it is easier for a child to get a good grip to pull themselves up. If a railing will be low enough for a child to reach when standing on tip-toe, then make sure it is much wider than what they can grasp easily.
Tip #3: Choose smooth designs
You can further complicate grasping by opting for a wide, rounded railing so that their hands are likely to slip off if they do manage to get their hands on top of it. To further confound a child's ability to pull themselves up, go for smooth materials that won't allow a firm grip when they try to lift their body weight. Metal is the best option, although vinyl-coated wood can also work well.
Tip #4: Watch the spacing
For railings that are mounted against walls or above the edge of a solid wall or fence panel, make sure there isn't a gap where a child's head could become stuck. Children playing or trying to climb a wall or railing could easily become injured if the space is too large.
Tip #5: Inspect the hardware
Finally, make sure that there is no exposed mounting hardware. Screws should be installed flush to the fencing or wall, and preferably countersunk so that they don't stick out. If the railing has exposed bolt heads or sharp corners, have them covered with rubber caps.
Talk to a company like Bracci Fence Inc for more tips on picking out the perfect rails for your needs.