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Preventing stair-related injuries to children

Experts say simple steps reduce risk

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new study by Nationwide Children's Hospital found an alarming number of children are suffering stair-related injuries each year.  

"On average, we're still seeing a child every six minutes rushed to an emergency department in this country because of a stair-related injury," said Dr. Gary Smith, who lead the study.

Smith offered these tips to reduce the risk of such injuries.

1.  Use a wall-mounted safety gate at the top of all stairs and a wall-mounted or tension-mounted gate at the bottom of all stairs.

2.  Never let children play on stairs.

3.  Always keep stairs free of toys and clutter to prevent tripping.

4.  If you carry a child down the stairs, always keep one hand on the handrail for balance, and never carry anything else at the same time.

5.   Install safe handrails.  Rails that are less than 6 1/4 inches around are safest, because they make it easier for you to put your hand around the entire rail with a firm grip.  Avoid wider, decorative handrails that are difficult to firmly grasp.