When it comes to childproofing their home, new parents can never be too careful. One of the most important safety products they can own is a child safety gate.
Most homes have stairs of some variety. Above all, a parent will want to be absolutely sure that small children aren’t accessing these stairs without supervision. After all, this can be extremely dangerous. A fall from the top of the stairs can lead to serious injury and even death. For this reason, a baby safety gate is a crucial layer of safety for any home. Much like a pool fence, a safety gate provides a sturdy barrier at the bottom or top of your stairs. This helps to keep a crawling-and-climbing little one from getting themselves into trouble.
Today, let’s take a look at the many uses for a baby safety gate. This Child Safety Store blog post will explore the proper placement of the gate and discuss proper safety features to look for.
What to Look For in a Safety Gate
Not all child safety gates are created equally. There are two varieties of these gates that you’ll find in stores.
The first type is hardware-mounted. These are typically bolted directly to the framing inside of your walls. These gates are especially helpful for installing at the top of your stairway. The fact that they’re physically bolted to the wall provides extra stability. This type of gate is ideal for helping to prevent a child from tumbling down the stairs.
The second type is a pressure-mounted safety gate. This uses a mechanism that works by wedging itself between two opposing walls, like an accordion. This type of gate is good for keeping kids out of specific rooms. Let’s say you have dangerous materials or expensive goodies in a dining room.
A pressure-mounted safety gate is very handy for keeping a baby or toddler from gaining access to these items. Please note, pressure-mounted gates are typically not secure enough to absolutely prevent a child from falling down the stairs. Therefore, it should not be used to deter that behaviour. For maximum safety, do not use this fence for your stairway.
Additional Tips to Keep in Mind
When keeping children away from your stairs, things can get a bit tricky. In those scenarios, we recommend using a baby gate at both the bottom and the top of the stairs.
Additionally, be aware of other objects that a child could use to help them climb over the fence. Kids are much more resourceful than most adults give them credit for. To be as secure as possible, give a thorough check to be absolutely sure that there isn’t an object around that a toddler could use to boost him or herself over the safety gate.
While we’re here, don’t forget to plan early. You should install your safety gates by the time your baby is five or six months old. Ideally, this should happen before the child begins crawling and walking.
Taking Down a Safety Gate
The next question we often hear is “when should I take down the safety gate?” Good question! As you can probably guess, each case will be slightly different. On a broad level, we recommend leaving the gate installed until you are absolutely sure of the child’s abilities.
Test and retest their skills at climbing and descending steps. Usually, you’ll begin to consider this step when the child is around three years of age… but that will depend on your child’s unique situation.
That’s about it. Obviously, everyone should actively supervise any and all children at all times. That said, accidents happen. Installing a safety gate is a terrific way to keep your child safer from injury or worse. A properly installed safety gate can be an absolutely life saver when it comes to child safety.