Baby Gates: Essential to Keeping Your Child Safe

Filed under: Expert Advice: Babies, Gear Guides: Babies



Baby gates are barriers that protect babies and toddlers from falls and other accidents. By blocking access to stairways, doors and off-limits areas, baby gates are an inexpensive and effective way to keep your child safe.

Safe baby gates come in a variety of styles. The most common is the pressure-mounted baby gate which is held in place with pressure against a door frame or other opening. These are popular because they require no tools to install and can easily be moved from one doorway to another. However, pressure-mounted baby gates are not recommended for use at the top of stairs because they can be pushed over by a baby and create a fall hazard for adults stepping over them.

Other baby gates are permanently mounted to door frames and walls with screws. These are the safest baby gates because they cannot be pushed over. Hardware-mounted baby gates usually have latched walk-through doors so adults can easily pass through.

Although few parents still use them, accordion-style baby gates manufactured prior to February 1985 do not meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association safety standards.

When you're installing your baby gate, you should follow this advice:
  • Look for the JPMA Certification Seal.
  • Measure the area where the gate will be used to make sure your selection is the correct size.
  • Make sure the adjustment bar is located on the side away from the baby if you're installing a pressure-mounted baby gate.
  • Avoid using a pressure-mounted baby gate at the top of stairs.
  • Close the gate when leaving the room and never leave baby unattended.
Read more about health and safety on ParentDish.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.