Gransnet forums



(36 Posts)
joscurry Wed 12-Sep-18 08:26:43

I'm not yet resigned to the lack of worry and concern my daughters have with their one year olds safety on the stairs in the staircase area... Am I being over protective? These are little toddlers and I am getting very stressed..views?

DoraMarr Wed 12-Sep-18 08:42:28

My daughter lives in a three storey Georgian house with very steep staircases and terrazzo floors. She has a very active eighteen month old who was climbing the stairs at seven months: like you, I was worried she would fall. My daughter and her husband taught the baby to go up and down the stairs safely, and she now manages all stairs confidently. I had safety gates everywhere, but today’s young parents seem to manage risk differently!

PECS Wed 12-Sep-18 08:59:13

Think of those children who grow up on stilt houses and in other risky environments. Kids adapt to their experiences and if well guided by parents are generally fine. We do reduce risk too much ..children don't learn how to assess their own safety ( age appropriate!)

Cherrytree59 Wed 12-Sep-18 09:12:45

I have found that putting saftey features in place has reduced my anxiety.

Stair gates are in place in my DC homes and our house
(Look after 2 toddlers at one time).

Stair gates can also keep dogs separate from children.

There was a recent thread on MN regarding a small child that had been badly injured from falling down only a few stairs (lost front tooth I think from memory)
Placing stair gates at very top of stairs is not a good idea a we have ours across the landing

David1968 Wed 12-Sep-18 10:57:30

Please look at stair-gates: the designs and styles today seem to be much better than when a lot of we GNs had our children. You can get ones which can be opened and closed easily by an adult/older child, but not by a toddler. Perhaps you could offer to buy some and even to pay for the installation? (I do understand your fears, joscurry, as I was the same about my own DGC: luckily DS was equally concerned and put the gates in place.) DGC being taught to "manage" the stairs, as DoraMarr suggests, is also very sensible and helpful.

Luckygirl Wed 12-Sep-18 11:11:52

I would be concerned about those stairs. We had open read and open sided stairs when ours were little. We put a stair gate at the bottom and plastic fencing round the edge (which we decorated with various things like plants).

I can see why you are concerned. All you can do is to make sure that things are safe at your home.

Luckygirl Wed 12-Sep-18 11:12:00


eazybee Wed 12-Sep-18 11:12:02

It is not so much the stairs that worry me, as the surfaces they land on should they fall. I have a friend who fell from top to bottom of their stairs and landed on their newly tiled floor, injuring her head, and mental capacities, badly. A house I visit regularly has tiled / wooden/laminate flooring downstairs; one of the children has already fallen down the stairs and cracked her head on the tiles, no apparent lasting damage but worrying. Shoes are strictly forbidden indoors, and I personally am terrified of falling; summer bare feet are all right, but winter socks and tights are dangerous.

Luckylegs9 Wed 12-Sep-18 17:26:48

I too would be worried, such hard surfaces to land on. You're dammed if you say anything and dammed if you don't, knowing me I would say something and be put in my place, I am a worrier.

Diana54 Wed 12-Sep-18 18:04:43

I would not usually get involved with the child's home safety, although I would be ultra careful with the children when they were in my care, as a gran you don't want to return damaged kids.
However when youngest daughter had the last baby they had 2 collies that lived in the house I did comment that young babies and dogs did not mix.
She ignored me completely - no problem it's her baby.

Jobey68 Wed 12-Sep-18 18:15:41

Oh my I would be having kittens knowing my granddaughter was around an open stair case 😱😱She's up them like a rocket with no idea or sense of how to get down at just 10 months old! Thankfully they have gates tops and bottom and we have them on just about every room in our house too, these little people are too precious to be taking unnessecary risks with!
Of course you can't protect them from everything but it's common sense to make sure a baby can't fall down the stairs surely!?

muffinthemoo Thu 13-Sep-18 11:38:13

Have toddlers. Would have conniptions if they had unimpeded access to a staircase like that. We had one - metal like yours - in our previous house, I slipped five stairs from the bottom and broke four ribs.

I agree with you. We stair gated the bottom of our staircase like that and did not allow them to use the stairs at all (nothing important upstairs).

Are these your stairs? If so, you have every right to fit a gate yourself and if DDs pass comment, simply answer that you do not want to be responsible for a serious accident in your own home.

mabon1 Thu 13-Sep-18 14:31:09

Stair gates, but they do have to learn how to get up and down on their own.

Terrystred Thu 13-Sep-18 14:42:48

I put up a stair gate in my house for GS. I tripped over the bar on it and badly twisted my ankle! SIL took it down for me and GS has learned to use my stairs safely on his own.

Telly Thu 13-Sep-18 15:11:19

Surely they are not your responsibility? Your daughter has assessed the risks and has parental responsibility so I would chill and take a back seat. In your house, of course, the decision is yours. But its all part of letting go.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 13-Sep-18 15:20:53

To my mind the staircase in the photo definitely needs child-proof gates until the children are steady on their feet and have learned to walk up and down stairs holding onto the banisters.

I'm afraid now that you have voiced your concerns to your daughters and been ignored that there is nothing more you can do. I'd like to say, please do not worry, but in your place I would be worrying, so there is no point in asking you not to, is there?

Greciangirl Thu 13-Sep-18 15:32:20

I have a spiral staircase in my house, and of course, Dgs, three years old always wants to climb up them. Hi

I have a stairgate but it doesn’t fit very well owing to the shape of the stairs. It’s a bit wobbly at times, but it does seem to deter him somewhat.

Toddlers can always climb up the stairs, but usually have difficulty getting back down. That’s when it becomes dangerous.

ReadyMeals Thu 13-Sep-18 15:40:21

Normal staircases are not actually all that dangerous (as long as there are good bannisters at the side) When a child falls down stairs each step is only a fall of a few inches and they go bumpity bump from one step to the next at a relatively slow speed and low force. I remember falling down our stairs as a small child many times and never got hurt (other than being a bit scared the first couple of times)

Maggiemaybe Thu 13-Sep-18 15:59:29

they go bumpity bump from one step to the next at a relatively slow speed and low force

Wouldn't that depend on the type of fall? That sounds like a very gentle one! I'd be very concerned about the stairs in the photo, joscurry, if your DGC are only 12 months old, and I'd have to say something. Whether anyone would actually listen is another matter entirely. grin

Rosina Thu 13-Sep-18 17:06:23

I would get rather twitchy about there being no risers on that staircase - visions of little legs going through the gap. Is my concern possibly a bit over the top? It would worry me.

Irene16 Thu 13-Sep-18 17:51:20

Oh my word, I've just viewed your photo. It's not just the falling up or down those stairs that alarms me so much as the toddler sliding their body through the tread gaps. I know there are good regs in place now regarding spacing between staircase spindles to prevent the child putting their head through but those tread gaps would seriously worry me. I can remember getting my head stuck in between wooden spindles and how scared I was. Perhaps gently voice your fears again. Your daughter might reflect on your view and take safeguarding action.

Mads Thu 13-Sep-18 17:58:54

We have these stairs and I worry more about me falling than the children.

Daisyboots Thu 13-Sep-18 19:43:02

I do think children should be taught to go up and stairs at quite a young age (thinking of average house staircase here). We taught our children but friends if ours always had a stairgate in place. Come Christmas they took the stair gate away because parents were staying and no 2 son aged 18 months climbed 3 steps and fell breaking his leg. He had never had the opportunity to climb before .

Jalima1108 Thu 13-Sep-18 20:17:05

Those stairs look very attractive but I couldn't go up and down them. We looked at a house once which had a staircase like that and I could not contemplate buying it. Other people may be fine with them, of course.

As for 'normal' stairs - I taught our DC to come down them on their tummies, feet first of course, from when they were about 12 - 14 months old.
Our present stairs have a landing in the middle but not all of them had.
We did have stairgates (and for the DGC too) - but mainly to stop them going upstairs on their own. It was also useful to stop them meddling upstairs and to stop the dog(s) going up.

LizHand Thu 13-Sep-18 21:36:49

When we moved into our 4 storey Georgian terrace when DD was only 18months (20+ years ago) & spent a fortune on the kit ready to protect on every floor staircase and guess what - only ever fitted one gate at the doorway in the attic (her nursery) and one down to the hall entrance (the steepest drops) - we taught her the rest with plenty of bottom shuffling. I think to date she has only ever fallen once down her stairs and she will admit it was a morning after the night before with just socked feet!!!! I think DH and I have managed more slips/missed footings. Even when SIL panicked after installing a very open staircase and its dangers it was just a case of appropriate supervision to teach rather than create a barrier!! I am also now more concerned for my own safety sometines and treat with the same respect as any potential hazard.