Do's and Don'ts of Child Gates for Stairs

As anyone with a toddler knows, the stairs are one of the most dangerous places in a house because they can cause serious injuries if a child accidentally falls down them. Therefore, it is crucial that parents install baby gates to prevent their children from getting hurt.  And most importantly, gates must be installed and used correctly in order to be effective. We put together the following list of do's and don'ts to help parents avoid common staircase injuries:

Do's

-Only use gates that are mounted with hardware for the top portion of the stairs.

-Make sure that hardware-mounted gates for the top of the stairs are installed so they swing back toward the floor, not in the direction of the steps.

-Use long screws to install the hardware for the baby gates. They have to be able to reach all the way through the wood and drywall.

-Be sure to only attach baby gates to flat pieces of wood that can withstand pressure. Wood studs and flat banisters are perfect for this.

-Keep the baby gates latched whenever they are not being used. All it takes is a minute for a child to get hurt if they are able to get through the opening of an unlatched door.

-Use gates that are certified for children's safety. Sometimes gates may look secure, but they fall at the slightest application of pressure. These safety certified gates provide the extra level of protection that you and your children can count on.

Don'ts

-NEVER use pressure-mounted gates at the top of the stairs because they can't withstand the same amount of force that hardware-mounted gates can. A child that pushes against them hard enough could end up falling down the stairs.

-Avoid installing hardware-mounted baby gates into round banisters or areas of drywall that don’t have studs in it. The hardware won't be as effective in these places because it won't be flush to the wood.

-Don't climb over baby gates in front of your children. If they see you do it once, they will think that it is acceptable behavior for them as well.

-Avoid installing indoor baby gates too high off the floor in front of the stairs. This will increase the odds of a child getting stuck underneath if they try to crawl through the opening. The space should be no more than three inches tall.

-Remember to be vigilant. Our gates can only help keep children off staircases if they are closed and secured. Remind older siblings constantly to latch gates behind them.