Stair protection films are a popular option for children with a strong love for their home, but a new film has been developed by British scientists to help protect them from falling objects.
Stair Protection Films (SPFs) are made from flexible, stretchable fabric that allows them to attach to objects and hold them securely.
According to research by the National Institute for Health Research, the devices can help prevent children from losing their footing when falling from heights and can help protect children who are at risk of being injured or hurt by falling furniture.
It’s also hoped that the technology can help reduce the risk of children falling through windows and doors.
The devices are available for purchase in a range of different materials including polyester, rayon and other fabrics, which are more affordable than a new protective coating made from foam.
Stair protection devices were invented in the UK by Dr Robert Janssen and his team at the University of Warwick.
He developed the devices to help prevent toddlers and young children from getting trapped in sliding furniture or other objects when they are climbing up stairs.
The devices are designed to attach securely to surfaces such as shelves, tables and stools, but are also capable of attaching to the inside of sliding doors and sliding furniture.
Dr Janssens research team found that children who were exposed to the film for one week were able to keep their footing and stay on the same step when falling, even when the furniture was completely covered with dust or dirt.
This means that children with strong families, who love their homes and love to climb and play on their own, could potentially be protected from falling items while they are at home.
The devices have been developed in collaboration with the Institute of Education and Skills (IES) and the Department of Health (DH).
They are also available to purchase online.
“When a child is climbing up a stroller or climbing up the stairs, it is a natural instinct to try and avoid falling into something,” said Dr Jansssens.
The technology was tested by the NHS Children’s Hospital, with children aged five to 17 participating. “
We have a responsibility to ensure children can keep themselves and their families safe, but we also have a role to play in ensuring that all children can thrive and achieve their full potential in life.”
The technology was tested by the NHS Children’s Hospital, with children aged five to 17 participating.
Dr Jenssen hopes the technology will be adopted across the country by the end of the year.
For more information on the research, see this report.