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Is Your Baby Gate Dangerous?

Written by Chris Shipferling

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Posted on December 27 2018

Raising a child is an amazing experience that gives you incredible perspectives on life. Watching your little tyke crawling around the floor and taking their first steps can be a transformational experience for a parent. As your baby spends less time in the crib and more time roaming your home, they are able to interact with the world, expanding both physical strength and mental cognition; however, the newfound mobility your baby is experiencing it can come at a cost. While it is important for your baby to learn what is safe and what is dangerous, there are certain areas of the house that are particularly dangerous for babies.

Stairs prove to be both a source of wonder for a young child and a source of fear for parents. The ability to survey the house from a raised vantage point gives your child new experiences, and it also can provide a physical challenge. Stairs can be dangerous for the uncoordinated and weak muscles of a baby. Babies are prone to tripping and losing their balance — two combinations that are especially dangerous for traversing stairs.

The realization that stairs are dangerous for babies who spend most of their days at home led to the rise of stair gates. Suddenly, the market was flooded with wooden stair gates, fabric stair gates, retractable stair gates, stair gates with cat doors built into them, and do-it-yourself (DIY) stair gates. Today, there are so many stair gate choices that it is difficult to determine what is best for your home. 

If you are looking for a stair gate that will keep your child safe without the risk of the gate injuring them, purchase The Stair Barrier® today. Made in America with sustainable textiles, Stair Barriers are the ultimate fabric stair gate for keeping  your baby or your pet off the stairs. The Stair Barrier is easy to install and can be custom built to accommodate staircases between 53" and 100" wide. A wide range of fabrics are available to match the decor in your home. Visit our website to learn more about The Stair Barrier today!

The Dangers of Having a Baby Gate

There are many great benefits to having a stair gate, but it is incredibly important to have the right stair gate. In this section, we are going to be going over the various components of different types of stair gates that can lead to injuring your baby.

Pressure Mounted Stair Gates


Pressure mounted baby gates are very attractive for new parents, especially if they aren’t able to mount hardware into a wall. Many parents are reluctant to drill holes into the wall for a home improvement that may only be used for a year or two, but, remember, this is your baby we are talking about. Safety is the biggest concern.

Pressure mounted gates work by wedging the gate between a wall and a banister or two walls. This is typically achieved by using a spring. Placing these barriers at the bottom of the stairs is fine, although still not ideal. The biggest danger with using pressure mounted stair gates is the ability for the baby to dislodge the gate using their weight. At the top of the stairs, this seems like a major issue, since the baby could potentially push the stair gate, release the spring, and then slide down the stairs on what amounts to a dangerous sled ride. At the bottom of the stairs, your baby or toddler might be able to use their weight to pull the gate out of its position, which can lead to serious injuries if they hit the back of their head on the floor.


Stair Gates with Pet Doors


Stair gates are designed for keeping either a baby or a pet out of a certain area. As soon as you allow an access point for a pet in your stair gate, your baby is going to be tempted to try to fit in the small door. No matter what the size of the door is for your cat or dog, your baby is going to be awfully curious to explore the door. Once your baby starts probing the door, depending on how big the opening is, they might get their head, an arm, a leg, or their whole body stuck in the pet door. If the pet door uses hinges to swing open, there is also the possibility of your baby pinching or injuring themselves if they put their hands anywhere near the hinges.


Installing the Stair Gate Too High off the Floor


If parents have pets, but they don’t want to use a pet door for the reasons above, they sometimes install their gate a few inches off the ground. This is also done because they don’t want to mount the stair gate into the baseboards. While this might seem reasonable, it can lead to some tricky predicaments for your baby. Yes, your cat may be able to crawl underneath the gate now, but they most likely could have jumped over it anyway. By creating a multi-inch gap, your baby may be tempted to fit underneath it, following the example of the cat, or just put an arm, leg, or hand through the gap, where your baby could get stuck.


DIY Stair Gates


Do-it-yourself stair gates have grown in popularity in the last few years, especially with the rise of Pinterest. Many of these DIY stair gates make installation easy and use very little materials. The biggest problem with many of these DIY projects is that they sacrifice craftsmanship and safety for reducing costs. Oftentimes, the gaps or hinges are exposed, leading to injury for your baby, or they don’t feature a secure latching mechanism that requires the user to open with their fingers and lift up on the gate.


The Stair Barrier Difference


For parents who are trying to find the right stair gate for their child, The Stair Barrier is one of the best-designed baby gates for sale. The American-made fabrics and components are high-quality and sustainably made. The fabric gates are rigorously safety tested and a wide range of fabrics are available to match any decor while keeping your baby safe. If you are ready to make the switch to a high-quality stair gate, don’t hesitate — purchase The Stair Barrier today.

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