AUTHOR: Owen Wang

Owen is the director here at WoodEvo and has a passion for providing high quality composite decking products that can be used to transform any Australian home into an ideal oasis. With more than 15 years in the decking industry and a tradie background, Owen is your go-to guy when it comes to composite decking and creating innovative outdoor spaces. Got a question about this article or WoodEvo’s range of composite decking products?

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How to Make Your Decking Safe for Kids and Pets
Created On: November 22, 2023
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Decking Kilsyth

A beautiful outdoor deck is a perfect place for relaxation and entertainment, but composite decking can also pose potential safety risks to your kids and fur babies, especially if it’s installed high above the ground.

As a parent or caregiver, you might wonder how to create a secure environment for your little ones while still enjoying the beauty of your outdoor space.

In this piece, we will guide you through expert tips on how to childproof your decks. We’ll cover everything you need to know so you can confidently create an outdoor space that is both fun and safe for your children.

Key Takeaways

  • Secure deck access points with locks and child-resistant latches, install safety gates for stairs and railings, and use plexiglass panes or mesh coverings to prevent climbing.
  • Choose sturdy materials for furniture placement and inspect regularly for potential choking hazards
  • Adhere to building codes when constructing a new deck, incorporating features such as strong railings & non-skid surfaces.

Install safety gates for decks, stairs, and railings

Custom gates, including temporary gate options, add an additional layer of security to your deck. These gates can be designed to match the style of your composite decking, while maintaining its aesthetic appeal.

Moreover, custom gates not only restrict unauthorised access but also control pet movement to and from the deck, adding functionality to your outdoor area.

In addition to custom gates, installing safety gates on stairs and railings is crucial for preventing children from accessing these potentially dangerous areas without adult supervision.

There are various safety gates available on the market, so make sure to do your research and choose what’s best for your composite decking.

When installing a safety gate on your deck, consider the following factors:

  • Measuring the width and height of the opening
  • Prioritising childproof latches
  • Following local building codes and regulations
  • Determining the appropriate mounting method based on the gate’s location

By taking these factors into account, you can create a secure outdoor space for your children’s playtime.

Use flip locks and child-resistant latches

Flip locks and child-resistant latches are essential components for securing deck access points. Flip locks should be installed at a height that kids can’t reach, typically around 34 inches from the finished floor.

Installing these locks on doors and gates will serve as a temporary barrier, allowing you to plan for a more permanent solution.

The installation process for child-resistant latch and flip locks on deck doors is pretty straightforward, involving a few simple steps such as removing the existing strike plate, positioning the new strike plate, and securing it in place.

How to Make Your Decking Safe for Kids and Pets

Surround your composite deck with deck netting or garden fencing

Another effective solution for securing your deck is the use of deck netting or garden fencing. These materials create a barrier around the deck, preventing children and pets from accessing dangerous areas such as stairs, pools, or driveways.

To ensure you get the right netting and fencing for your deck, measure the dimensions of the deck or balcony first then purchase netting designed specifically for outdoor use.

By installing deck netting or garden fencing, you can create a safer outdoor space for your children and pets to enjoy.

Cover your deck’s railings with plexiglass panes or mesh

Plexiglass panes and mesh coverings are effective solutions for covering gaps in railings, preventing children from climbing or getting stuck.

Plexiglass panes are shatter-resistance and durable while also providing a clear view of your outdoor space. Installing plexiglass panes are pretty simple. All you need to do is to secure the panels to the railings using screws and bolts.

Mesh coverings are another option for enhancing railing safety. By securely installing mesh coverings on your deck, you can prevent your children from climbing the railings.

Install pool alarms

If your deck is situated near a pool area, installing a pool alarm is a must. This crucial safety device serves as an early warning system, alerting you if your kids or pets accidentally tumble into the pool. It’s not just about keeping an eye on the pool – it’s about having an extra set of ears tuned in to possible dangers.

Pool alarms can be installed above ground or in-ground, depending on the type of pool you have. They work by detecting disturbances in the water, triggering an alarm when something large enough – like a child or pet – falls in.

Most pool alarms come with a wireless receiver that can be placed inside your home, ensuring you’ll hear the alert even if you’re not outside. Some models also offer smartphone notifications, providing an additional layer of security.

Remember, a pool alarm is not a substitute for proper supervision and safety measures. It’s an additional safety tool that can give you precious extra seconds to react in case of an accident.

Buy non-skid decking mats

Another way to increase safety on your decking is to purchase non-slip decking mats or treads. These mats are designed to provide extra grip, especially in high-traffic areas.

Simply place them on the desired areas of your decking. Some mats are even adhesive, sticking directly to the deck for added security.

Whichever decking mats you buy, ensure that the material you use is durable and can withstand the outdoor elements.

Also, remember to regularly check these non-skid materials for any signs of wear and tear and replace them as necessary. By doing so, you continually ensure the safety of your outdoor space for both your little ones and furry friends.

Fill the gaps between your decking boards

Gaps between your deck boards can pose a risk as children could potentially get their fingers stuck or trip over them.

That’s why it’s crucial to fill these gaps as early as possible. One efficient way to do this is by using decking spacers. These handy tools can be inserted between the deck boards, effectively filling any gaps and providing a smoother, safer surface for children to play on.

If you cannot arrange for decking spacers immediately, adding plants is a temporary solution that can help cover up any gaps in the decking. Choose sturdy, child-friendly plants that can withstand the wear and tear of an active outdoor area.

Remember, the goal is to create a safe and secure environment where children can play without the risk of injury. Therefore, regular inspection of your deck to identify and address any potential hazards is essential.

Opt for childproof outdoor furniture

Choosing child-proof deck furniture and being mindful of its placement is another way of creating a safe outdoor space for your children.

Opt for heavy outdoor furniture that is difficult for children to move or climb, reducing the risk of accidents. Also, make sure to buy deck furniture that is made from durable materials and strategically position them to enhance your decking’s safety.

Be aware of potential choking hazards

Lasty, be mindful of potential choking hazards that you may leave lying around your deck. Here are some common items that could pose a choking risk:

  • Tiny decorative elements like buttons or pieces that can be detached
  • Small toys or parts of toys
  • Loose nails or screws
  • Small food items such as nuts or grapes

To maintain a safe environment, make sure your outdoor furniture doesn’t have small parts that could choke your kids or pets.


Childproofing your deck is a must for any homeowner with young children. By doing these expert tips listed above, you can provide a safe and enjoyable outdoor space for your family.

Remember, childproofing your deck is not a one-time task but an ongoing responsibility. Regularly inspecting your deck for potential hazards so you can ensure a safe and secure environment that your whole family can enjoy for years to come.

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