When you install mobility aids, pay attention to stairlift safety for children and pets in your home. A key tip is to teach others to stay clear of the lift when it is in use and to always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for usage.
A stairlift can provide increased access and improve the quality of life for users, but how do you prevent problems when kids and pets are around your mobility devices? Talk to the seller of your new lift to determine the guidelines and recommended standards for use, and then reinforce behaviors in the home that curb the contact children and pets will have with your new device. Also, installation experts may provide tips that make everyday utility easier and that create a smoother transition to the home.
Pay attention to maintain stairlift safety for children and pets in your home
stairlifts are intended to make the home more accessible and safer; make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s guidelines for use before installing, sitting on, or using your lift:
Teach them early
Start teaching your children and pets to simply stay away from the lift when it is operating, and to keep the surrounding area around the lift clear. Just as you would teach a toddler to steer away from hot surfaces, reinforce that they should step away from the lift when it is being used.
Move obstructions and risks
Make a policy that obstructions and objects are to be kept off the stairway, and subsequently, away from the lift. Don’t simply rely on the sensors to let you know when hazards lurk, but make it a general practice to look for such dangers, such as pets, toys, or shoes, before using the lift.
Carefully consider the position
Work with the installer to find the right position for your lift. This could impact any gates that you use around the stairs to prevent children or pets from having access. While this may require some creative thinking, it is not a valid reason to abstain from the access your new lift will provide.
Make sure that the lift you buy is outfitted with sensors, for detecting objects and obstacles that could interfere with transport. The sensor prompts the lift to stop- until the item or obstacle is removed from the path. Sensors may also prevent a nasty injury to a pet that could run in the path of the lift, and that could potentially injure you both.
Pay attention when exiting
It seems that getting-off the stairlift presents the most risks, as transferring from the lift to the floor or landing can be challenging for those with mobility issues. This is when pets or small children underfoot can cause problems, so be vigilant about protecting the ‘landing-spots’ in some way.
Keep it locked
Look into a locking mechanism for your lift, which requires a key for the unit to operate the lift. This will deter curious kids or accidental incidents when there are others around your lift in the home.
Invest in a swivel-seat
When customizing your new stairlift, select seats that swivel for more range-of-motion. These types of features can also make the sometimes-precarious exit off the lift easier. The swivel-action can improve the user’s balance when using the lift, which can reduce the risk of a fall, especially when there are unruly pets around!
Re-think buying a used-lift
A used stairlift may seem like a prudent investment, but it makes much sense to work with a qualified and experienced vendor that can provide a guarantee and service in case you run into an issue. These merchants will also be able to provide repairs, information, and support to you as you adapt to your mobility device.
Arrange for service
Plan on getting your lift serviced regularly to be confident that the safety features, sensors, and lift are in full and fine working condition. Talk to your vendor about the frequency of these visits when buying your stairlift.
Always follow the safety guidelines recommended by your stairlift manufacturer
Make sure to follow all safety guidelines and the manufacturer’s recommendations for utility when operating the stairlift. If you follow these standards, you should be able to enjoy the access and autonomy that lifts provide- without the worry of harm to children or pets in the home.
It is true: mobility aids increase access and improve quality of life for the thousands of households using them. Use these suggestions to keep your lift free from damage wreaked by kids and pets, and to keep users safe on and off their lift when there are others about. Talk with your mobility expert to find other strategies that will curb safety issues when you live with children or pets.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)