6 Baby Gate Safety Tips
Baby gate safety is imperative whether you have a baby just starting crawl or a toddler who is into everything. Baby gates are designed to keep the baby safe and away from areas where they may get hurt, but if they are not properly installed or are the wrong type of gates, they may cause harm to your child. Here are 6 tips on baby gate safety.
The stairs are the most dangerous place for baby gates if improperly installed, or if you use the wrong kind of gate. It is best you install a gate at the top and at the bottom. For stairways, use gates that screw into the wall instead of the pressure mounted type, securing them into wood doorways with screws. The pressure-mounted gates can be pushed over at times, causing the baby to tumble down the stairs.
It doesn’t take a little one long to learn to climb! Be sure that you do not have items such as footstools or your child’s riding toys in a room where they can climb over the gate. It is best to keep child-size table and chair sets and larger toys they can climb on left in their bedroom or play room.
3. The Correct Gate
Be sure the construction of the gate is for a child and not a pet. A pet gate is made of mesh material that the child can get his head stuck in, which in turn, can cause strangulation. This may seem like a no-brainer, but pet gates are sometimes sold in the same area as baby gates, so it’s worth a mention.
Family heirlooms handed down are nice to have, but not in the case of a baby gate. Never use an old hand-me-down gate. The regulations for gates your child have changed, and and older gate may pose a real danger to your child. To be absolutely certain, check with the manufacturer to be sure the gate is ASTM and JPMA approved.
5. Your Behavior
Don’t climb over the baby gate. If it is in a doorway that you need to go through often, get a baby gate that has a latch gate in the middle that will swing open and latch behind you. If you climb over the gate, your child will emulate your actions and try to climb over it as well. When using this type of latch gate, be sure that it is secured when closed.
Keeping in mind that you will be using these gates for a few years, occasional maintenance is required. Check the screws monthly to be sure they haven’t loosened, especially those screws on the stairs. Replace screws that have become loose if they cannot be tightened. For pressure mounted gates, check to be sure they are still centered in the doorway because they do slip if pushed on often and can collapse on your child or cause them to fall over it. Following these tips will keep your child safe and protected, giving you peace of mind.