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Stairgates


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Hi there, I was reading the forum posts about socket safety devices earlier and it got me to thinking about stairgates. I do not currently have one and I have a 13month old daughter. I don't think that we need one as she had 1 fall down the stair and has never attempted again. She is now able to climb down the stairs well by herself (with supervision). I will be becoming a childminder soon...does this mean I will need to install a stairgate? It is compulsory? I have heard of many people using them to block access to the kitchen/other areas. I honestly feel that i have childproofed well enough and it is unnecessary. Am I being over optimistic/foolish? it is one thing to feel fine about your own child falling down the stairs once but I don't think i would want that to happen to someone else's...in any case we can't install one at the bottom of the stairs as it is open plan-there is only a wall on one side-the stairs lead up to a door-so 6 steps are 'unchildproofable'. If children were upstairs they would be under my supervision. my gut feeling is that children need to learn about risks and shouldn't be 'protected' from harm all the time. I am really interested to hear your views! What would/do you do? thanks

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Hmm, tricky one - it's perhaps best to wait and see what the inspector says about it - I know they are not meant to 'advise' but I'm sure in this case there will at least be an opinion!

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I was a childminder and never had stair gates. Ofsted were happy as I convinced her that the children would be safe (ie always under my supervision and also kept doors closed where possible, so access to stairs was minimised). None of my parents had an issue with it either.

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You do not need stairgates - the whole emphasis is on supervision. The Ofsted inspector will ask how you aim to keep the children safe without stairgates - supervision is the key to include showing the children how they can safely climb down stairs and go up them if needs be. Also you will set clear boundaries and no go areas - with consistency and supervision this should be sufficient.

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My stairs come into my living room. I used a stairgate when I was childminding as I sometimes needed to go to the loo or be in the kitchen. Again, I had one across the kitchen doorway as there was no otherway of keeping young children safe from touching the oven when it was on - I had 3 under 18 months at one point.

 

But if you think you can manages without and have assessed the risks, then that is fine.

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