This is one of the stupidest things in the code books - and there are
some doozies. Following similar logic, all staircases should be
eliminated and gentle padded ramps installed so no one would fall down
the stairs, all cabinets should come equipped with childproof latches,
all medicines should be put in bottles that...oops, they're already
done that one.
I'm fond of saying that you can't legislate or regulate stupidity out
of existence. If someone is leaving a baby with a head that small
(what would it be? a few months old?) on a deck unattended...well, the
planet doesn't need more stupidity.
The 4" spacing is pretty standard but local codes may be different. You
didn't mention other details about this deck. If the deck surface is less
than 24" above grade, you may not need railings. If higher than 24", not
only do you need railings but they will usually need to meet other specs.,
i.e. the top rail must be at least 36" above the deck. If there is a lower
rail, it must be 4" or less, above the deck. Other specs. refer to
materials used. Time for some more homework and perhaps a cup of coffee for
the local inspector.
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