What are the Best Tips for Baby Gate Safety? (with pictures)

C. Daw
C. Daw
Most toddlers do not have the motor skills needed to open a baby gate.
Most toddlers do not have the motor skills needed to open a baby gate.

Protecting babies, especially those who have just learned to crawl or walk, is a full time job. Baby gate safety then becomes mandatory to protect the baby, or the toddler, from falling and hurting themselves. In most any house, there are several areas in the house that need a safe baby gate. These could be the stairs and furniture, and include the kitchen and washing areas as well.

Safety gates may be needed once a baby begins to crawl.
Safety gates may be needed once a baby begins to crawl.

Baby gate safety should be given careful thought before deciding on a specific type or model to purchase. This is all the more necessary since babies are fast learners and grow quickly. Unless an appropriate baby gate is chosen, either the child will outgrow it or will learn how to work around it, defeating the very purpose that it was intended for. There are mainly two types of the child safety gate available; one is the pressure mounting type and the other is the hardware mounting type. Both types are useful and are available in a variety of sizes.

The type of baby gate safety that will be used depends on the actual area that the baby is being protected in. If it is the top and bottom of the stairs that are targeted, the best solution is to use the hardware mounted type. This gate requires it to be fastened into the wall. The width has to be large enough to cover the entire width of the stairs. The advantage in installing a baby gate of this type is that they do not work themselves loose with the shake and push that toddlers usually give it, making it almost a child proof gate. The height and construction of the gate is also important. The height should not be lower than three quarters of the baby's height. There should be no footholds on the gate for the baby to use to climb over, and there cannot be any holes large enough for the infant or child to stick their arms, legs, or heads through.

There are some additional precautions for proper baby gate usage that will enhance the baby gate safety that should be discussed. The right gate should be used, and not a pet gate. Pet gates are made of mesh that can lead to strangulation of the baby. When using a baby gate, it is preferable to use safety approved gates in place of hand-me-downs, to avoid any unknown safety recalls on older gates. Maintenance of the safety gate is also an important aspect of baby gate safety and cannot be neglected. Furniture should not be placed near the gate because it is easy to climb the furniture and topple over it. Finally, the parent's behavior is also a prime factor. Because of the low height, parents may get tempted to climb over instead of unlatching the safety gate. Toddlers are great imitators, and before long, will also try to find a way around the gate.

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    • Most toddlers do not have the motor skills needed to open a baby gate.
      Most toddlers do not have the motor skills needed to open a baby gate.
    • Safety gates may be needed once a baby begins to crawl.
      Safety gates may be needed once a baby begins to crawl.