Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.1 Overall Requirements

5.1.5 Steps and Stairs Guards at Stairway Access Openings

Securely installed, effective guards (such as gates) should be provided at the top and bottom of each open stairway in facilities where infants and toddlers are in care. Gates should have latching devices that adults (but not children) can open easily in an emergency. “Pressure gates” or accordion gates should not be used. Gate design should not aid in climbing. Gates at the top of stairways should be hardware mounted (e.g., to the wall) for stability. Basement stairways should be shut off from the main floor level by a full door. This door should be self-closing and should be kept locked to entry when the basement is not in use. No door should be locked to prohibit exit at any time.
Falls down stairs and escape upstairs can injure infants and toddlers. A gate with a difficult opening device can cause entrapment in an emergency (1).
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Guardrails and Protective Barriers
  1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Old accordion style baby gates are dangerous.