Baby Deck Rail Guard

If you have babies or small children, you’ll eventually need all sorts of safety gear to childproof your house.  For deck rails, or inside for banisters or stair rails, you can buy mesh guards that will fit over the openings and keep children from jumping through, falling through, and getting their heads stuck.  There are many different options for closing up these openings; one such option is the One Step Ahead No-Climb Deck Guard.

This deck guard is a long sheet of plastic mesh, 16 feet long and 39 inches tall.  While it’s designed for a deck, it can easily be used to cover openings inside as well.  It comes with plenty of zip ties to secure the plastic to the deck rails, banisters, or other solid features.  It also comes with eyelet screws so that you can secure it to a wall, or to a banister or rail that is too thick to wrap a zip tie around.

The One Step Ahead guard is fairly easy to set up, as long as you have room to move around the area in question.  The guard is not very appealing to look at – it’s just a sheet of white mesh with tiny holes that are hard to see through.  But it will do the trick and keeping young children from falling through, as long as it is properly secured.

You’ll have to keep an eye on the corners and edges, however.  With a little bit of force, you can pull the edges of the deck guard out of a zip tie.  The mesh will tear and make a bigger hole, which can eventually lead to the deck guard becoming flimsy or ineffective.  Hopefully most kids won’t realize this, but it is something to watch out for.

Like the name says, the holes in the mesh are too small to allow fingers to poke through, so children won’t be able to climb up the deck guard.  (The exception to this is if they can reach the top of the railing, but then they’d be able to climb up whether the guard was in place or not.)  The mesh material is fairly thick, so a child can lean against it, as long as they don’t apply a lot of force and try to push through it.

The One Step Ahead No-Climb Deck Guard can be purchased online from OneStepAhead.com for $44.95.  The price seems fair for what you get.  There are guards that are cheaper and ones that are much more expensive, and this one doesn’t do a bad job.  The mesh is easy to cut, so if you don’t need all 16 feet or all 39 inches, you can trim off the rest and use it for another job or just set it aside in case you ever need it.  Just be careful, because the sides and top can leave sharp edges exposed when they are cut.