Decks can give your house some much-needed outdoor living space. You can get away from your busy lifestyle, and it’s a great place to have family gatherings, cookouts, and parties. They can increase the value of your home and can be a worthwhile investment if you plan to sell in the future.
However, if you have young kids, you may be wondering what you can do to enjoy the benefits of a deck while keeping your children safe. Of course, you should talk to your children about what not to do and establish boundaries. But this doesn’t mean you should forego additional safety measures. Here are a few tips and updates you can make to your deck to make it a safe space for kids.
Use Safe and Durable Deck Materials
The materials you need to build a safe deck can vary depending on the type of deck and your budget. While solid wood tends to be an affordable option upfront, it is prone to breaking down over time and poses a risk of splinters. To mitigate this issue, consider using composite or vinyl for your deck. This will hold up well over time and eliminate splintering. If your deck is raised, you also need to take railings into account. They can be the same material as the deck itself, or even something like powder-coated metal.
Watch for Loose Hardware
Backyard decks are a wonderful place to entertain guests or spend time with family, but make sure they’re safe. For instance, is there anything loose, like nails or screws, which could cause injury if a child walked on them or put them in their mouth? These issues can be structurally problematic and harmful to your child.
Think About the Stairs and Railings
Make sure the railings are sturdy to prevent falls and high enough to keep kids from climbing over them. Aluminum deck railing kits are an excellent choice because they’re lightweight, durable, and easy to install.
Further, installing gates at the top of any stairs leading up to the deck could keep kids from falling off. This is especially applicable if you have an infant or toddler. Although it seems like an obvious and common-sense solution, it’s still easy to overlook.
Since decks are extensions of your home, they should be a safe and comfortable addition for your family and friends to enjoy. By ensuring that your deck is made of durable building materials and taking precautions to prevent your kids from tripping or falling, you can prevent safety hazards and truly relax this summer.
By Meghan Belnap
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.