Creating a Safe and Child-Friendly Deck: Tips and Tricks
If you're a homeowner with a deck, you know how enjoyable it can be to spend time outside, especially during the warmer months. However, if you have children, safety becomes a top priority. A child-friendly deck doesn't have to be boring or lack style. With the right tips and tricks, you can create a safe and stylish outdoor space that your entire family can enjoy. In this blog, we will cover the essential aspects of creating a child-friendly deck and provide you with helpful tips and tricks along the way.
Assess Your Current Deck's Safety
Before making any changes to your deck, it's crucial to assess its current safety level. Start by examining the deck's structure, including the railing, stairs, and flooring. Look for any signs of rot, warping, or cracking, and address those issues immediately. Additionally, check the spacing between the balusters on the railing to ensure that they are not too far apart, which could allow a child to slip through. If your deck is high off the ground, consider adding a safety net or guard rail to prevent falls.
Choose Safe and Durable Materials
When designing a child-friendly deck, it's essential to choose materials that are safe and durable. Avoid using materials that may splinter or have sharp edges, as these could injure children. Pressure-treated wood is a popular choice for decks, but it can be hazardous to children and pets due to the chemicals used to treat the wood. Instead, opt for safer alternatives, such as cedar or redwood, or consider using composite decking, which is made from a blend of recycled plastic and wood fibres.
Install Secure Railing and Gates
A sturdy and secure railing is essential for a child-friendly deck. The railing should be at least 36 inches high and have no more than a four-inch gap between the balusters to prevent children from squeezing through. If you have stairs leading to your deck, install a gate at the top to prevent children from wandering off. Ensure that the gate is self-closing and latching, so children cannot accidentally leave it open.
Provide Ample Shade
Spending time on a deck can be enjoyable, but it's essential to protect your family from the sun's harmful UV rays. Providing ample shade on your deck is an excellent way to ensure that your family can enjoy the outdoors safely. You can add shade by installing a pergola, awning, or canopy. Alternatively, you can plant trees or install outdoor curtains for a more natural look.
Add Soft Surfaces
If your deck has a hard surface, such as concrete or wood, consider adding soft surfaces to create a safer environment for your children. Rubber pavers or foam mats are excellent options for providing a cushioned surface that can prevent injuries from falls. Additionally, they are easy to install and maintain, making them a popular choice among parents.
Incorporate Kid-Friendly Features
A child-friendly deck doesn't have to be boring. In fact, adding fun and kid-friendly features can make your deck even more enjoyable for your children. Consider adding a sandbox, a playhouse, or a water feature. You can also create a designated area for outdoor games, such as cornhole or horseshoes.
Keep the Deck Clean and Tidy
Keeping your deck clean and tidy is essential for maintaining a safe and enjoyable outdoor space. Regularly sweep away debris, such as leaves or sticks, which could pose a tripping hazard. Additionally, keep any toys or equipment stored away when not in use to prevent clutter and tripping hazards. Finally, ensure that your deck is free of any hazardous materials, such as chemicals or sharp objects.
A child-friendly deck can be a safe and enjoyable space for your entire family. By assessing the current safety of your deck, choosing safe and durable materials, installing secure railing and gates, providing ample shade, adding soft surfaces, incorporating kid-friendly features, and keeping the deck clean and tidy, you can create a beautiful and safe outdoor space that everyone can enjoy. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when designing any outdoor space, especially for children. With these tips and tricks, you can create a child-friendly deck that your family will love for years to come.