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For a deck to be considered child proofed, what is the recommended spacing between the rails?

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You should mention where you are - some countries have codes about this sort of thing, and you'd want the relevant code for your area. –  Michael Kohne Aug 4 '13 at 23:34
    
You also need to follow regulations on height. –  DMoore Aug 5 '13 at 4:35
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I did a google search and turned up one recommendation for a maximum 4 inch spacing. That sounds right to me, and is in accordance with the International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings.

R312.3 Opening limitations. Required guards shall not have openings from the walking surface to the required guard height which allow passage of a sphere 4 inches (102 mm) in diameter.

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Less than 4" is most typical code, but if you want to be sure check with your local code office. Personally, I usually go with 3.5" because it's easy to use a 2x4" as a spacer, and it's plenty under 4".

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