How to Baby-Proof Concrete Steps
Steps of any kind are hazardous to young children, toddlers and babies. Concrete steps, in particular, pose multiple safety concerns necessitating the need for baby-proofing.
By installing a sturdy baby gate and applying adhesive foam padding to the edges of concrete steps, you'll take the steps necessary for preventing any tragic baby-related accidents. Accordion-style baby gates are not recommended and haven't been sold through retail stores since 1985. These gates are not sufficient for stairs. Likewise, avoid pressure gates for stairs. Choose a baby gate especially designed for stair use.
- Steps of any kind are hazardous to young children, toddlers and babies.
- Choose a baby gate especially designed for stair use.
Measure and cut the foam edge bumpers to fit the edges of the concrete steps.
Remove the protective paper or plastic from the adhesive strip beneath the foam edge bumper. Align the foam edge bumper with the adhesive side facing the concrete steps and insert the edge of the step into the L shape of the foam edge bumper.
Press the foam edge bumper adhesive firmly onto the concrete steps, rubbing the foam so that the adhesive adheres to the concrete securely. Repeat for every concrete step.
Choose a gate that isn't a pressure or accordion-style gate and that has a straight, hard top and sturdy, rigid bars. Most stair gates are metal or wood and come in two parts: a frame and moving gate. Pressure gates shouldn't be used. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports accidents resulting from pressure gates being pushed out of position. Accordion gates pose strangulation hazards.
- Measure and cut the foam edge bumpers to fit the edges of the concrete steps.
Locate the studs on the wall or use the door frame above the concrete steps to serve as anchors for the hardware that installs the gate frame to the walls/door. You can purchase a stud finder at a home improvement store. Mark the studs near the entryway to the concrete steps with a pencil so you'll know where to attach the baby gate frame.
Mount the frame of the baby gate to the wall/door frame with the included hardware. Usually you will need a Phillips head screwdriver to assist in mounting the gate frame with the screws into the studs or door frame. Follow the instructions for your gate installation.
Hang the gate inside of the frame following the manufacturer's directions. Test the lock once the baby gate is installed to verify it is aligned correctly and the gate locks when closed. Push on the gate and the frame to ensure your installation is secure. If it wobbles or shakes, the frame isn't secured to the wall studs or the door frame and should be removed and reinstalled.
- Locate the studs on the wall or use the door frame above the concrete steps to serve as anchors for the hardware that installs the gate frame to the walls/door.
- Usually you will need a Phillips head screwdriver to assist in mounting the gate frame with the screws into the studs or door frame.
- Always monitor children around baby gates regardless of how secure you believe the gate to be. Inspect the gate weekly, ensuring all parts are in good condition.
- Don't continue using a damaged baby gate. Don't use any quick fixes such as wire or twist ties or tape to temporarily repair the gate. Remove and replace the gate immediately.
Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.