Your new kid-safe deck should include features that make it safe for your family and guests – especially if children will be using it regularly. Even if you don’t have kids of your own, it’s important to consider your guests and neighbors with children who may be joining you for outdoor get-togethers on your deck throughout the year. Take a look at these helpful tips for building a safe and kid-friendly deck this summer:
Kid-Friendly Composite Decking
Potential deck hazards for children include splinters and burns, especially when spending time on the deck with bare feet. Trips and falls are also a concern when it comes to stairs and wet surfaces. When choosing the right material for a kid-safe deck, it’s essential to consider these hazards and find a surface that avoids these risks as much as possible. A safe choice for decking material that provides a smooth and stable surface for children to enjoy your outdoor living space is composite decking.
Composite is a popular deck material among Maryland homeowners due to its low maintenance requirements and its durability. Because this material is made from wood fiber and plastic, it will never splinter or require sanding, staining, or stripping. This material is also water-resistant and therefore doesn’t warp when exposed to rain, spills, or other liquids. In addition, composite is less slippery than other decking material, so it’s the ideal choice for homeowners with pools or hot tubs.
Wood Decks that are Safe for Children
Lumber and natural wood are the classics when it comes to decking materials. Although wood decks don’t provide as many built-in safety features as composite decking, there are simple ways to design and care for a wood deck to make it safe for kids:
- Reduce slips and falls by installing slip guards on stairs.
- Include ample lighting in your deck design to keep the space lit and visible after the sun goes down.
- Lightly sand rough spots in wood deck boards and apply sealant to prevent splintering.
- Add an awning or partially enclose your deck to provide a shaded, cool area for the kids to play.
- Keep your deck clear of debris to prevent tripping accidents, as well as moisture damage like mold and mildew.
Add Steps, Gates, and Railings
These decking features are especially vital if your deck is built even a foot or two off the ground. To ensure child safety, railings should be durable, up-to-code and leave little space for children to become stuck or slip through railing gaps. Installing gates at the top of your deck’s stairs can keep little ones from tripping or falling down the stairs as well. If you have a pool in your backyard, you may also consider adding anti-slip material to the steps on your deck to reduce accidents.
Get Help with Building a Kid-Safe Deck
Ready to get started on your new deck? The J.F. Johnson Lumber Company has the decking materials, hardware, and quality products you need to make the most of your outdoor living space while ensuring the safety of everyone who uses it. From pressure-treated lumber and deck stain to composite decking and fasteners, we’ve got it all. Contact us or stop by our hardware store today to get help from the experts in planning and building your new, kid-safe deck.