Childproofing Decks

Archived Q&A and Reviews


How to childproof deck with dangerous drop off

July 2001

Our child is just starting to walk and we have a deck off our house with a dangerous drop off. It is a wooden deck with only one cross railing and we would like to put up something that looks nice and is, or course, very safe. Any suggestions? Colleen

I've heard of folks bolting plexiglass to the inside of their deck railings as it is difficult to climb and maintains the view. I recommend talking to Tap Plastic on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito (in the mini-mall near Albertsons or Safeway?). If you measure your deck railing dimensions, they could tell you how much it would cost for a variety of thicknesses. They could also tell you about the durability of their products if exposed to the weather and sunlight. I went to them to get plexiglass covers custom cut for some nice wooden tables inside. They were very helpful and prompt. Suzanne

How to prevent child climbing over the railing?

July 2001

Does anyone have any suggestions or know of any products availabe for childproofing a deck so that a child cannot climb up and fall over the railing? With gratitude... Jo

Our deck has horizontal aluminum rungs (spaced maybe 6 inches apart) running from the floor up to a wood railing. Since the rungs proved to be an attractive nuisance for our toddler (and seemed pretty easy to climb), we had sheets of plexiglass (you need to make sure it is appropriate for outdoor use) cut to cover the railings from the floor to the wooden rail. They were then affixed to the railings on our deck with little plastic ties (so they stay until you want to remove them, and then you can just cut the ties). I believe that the Perfectly Safe catalog also provides rolls of plastic that can be used to cover railings, but I do not know if they are suitable for outdoor use. We did not do the work ourselves, but had it done by a wonderful childproofer. Her name is Rachel Murray, her firm is called Safe'n'Sound Children, Inc. and her phone no. is 510-338-0222. She may have other ideas for you as well (the plexiglass was pretty expensive I recall). Good luck. Stephanie