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Can Baby Gates Be Unsafe?

Karie Reynolds

Posted on September 25 2018

In short, yes. Baby gates can be unsafe when installed incorrectly or designed poorly. Read on to learn more about this issue.

If you are a new parent, everything may look like a potential threat to your child. This has likely inspired you to take all sorts of preventative safety measures around the home — as you should. Reducing sharp corners, locking drawers, securing TVs, adding outlet covers, and installing baby gates for your stairs are all probably among the steps you have taken to make your home more baby-friendly.

While these baby-proofing measures are almost certainly effective, not all of these measures will automatically make your home safer. For example, did you know that when installed incorrectly, many baby gates can actually lead to injury?

The Danger Of Baby Gates

In this article published by the journal Academic Pediatrics, researchers found that the gate injury rate for children under the age of six quadrupled between the years of 1991 to 2010. The key takeaways from this research are as follows:

  • Over the course of the study, an estimated 37,673 children were treated in emergency departments for injuries associated with gates
  • Each year, around 1,800 children are treated in ERs because of gate-related injuries 
  • A majority of these injuries affect children under the age of two
  • 70 percent of these reported injuries involve falls

While this data is certainly alarming, it does indicate that more and more parents are using safety gates in the home. However, more importantly, what this also indicates is that users are incorrectly using baby safety gates or using flawed safety gates. For example, many parents are using pressure mounted gates at the top of a staircase instead of a mounted gate. Also, because everyone has different walls and unique moldings, banisters, and materials, people often use the wrong types of gates for their situation or install them improperly.

Falls & Baby Gates

According to this study, the leading cause of injuries for children under the age of 2 was falls down the stairs because a gate collapsed or was left open. Additionally, for children over the age of 2, the most common injuries were caused by kids hanging on the gates or climbing over the gates.

Tips For Improving The Effectiveness of Baby Safety Gates

  • Install baby safety gates at the bottom of the stairs
  • Start using safety gates before the child turns 6 months old 
  • Double check the installation manual to ensure that you have installed and are using it correctly
  • Be sure to check that there has never been a recall issued for your gate — https://www.recalls.gov/ 
  • Buy a trusted and safety-tested baby gate 

The Stair Barrier — Designed And Tested For Safety

When we set out to make safety gates for stairs, safety was the most important aspect. All of our baby safety gates are designed with young walkers and climbers in mind. Our gates are structurally reinforced to prevent gates from being pulled down, and we opted not to use a horizontal bar in our gates because this is typically what children use to hoist themselves up. On top of this, our gates are made of a soft fabric and have no gaps in which children can lodge their fingers.

Lastly, with these potential safety threats in mind, we wanted to make a bottom of stairs gate that was simple to install and could accommodate nearly every type of staircase. By accomplishing this, we are able to provide our customers with a reliable and secure gate that you can trust. And they look great! Read more about our safety measure and what makes our baby safety gates different.

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