• Choosing the Right Baby Gates for Your Home

    Baby gates come in all types from wood to metal and extra wide to extra tall.  Whichever type you end up choosing for your home, it is important to remember not to depend on a baby gate as the sole means of supervising your baby.  Nothing will keep your baby safe more than your own supervision over them.  Just because a baby gate is installed does not mean that your child is 100% safe.

    There are two main types of baby gates which you can purchase for the home.  They include pressure-mounted and hardware-mounted.  Pressure-mounted gates can be pushed into a doorway or hallway and usually come with 2 panels that adjust into place.  These are typically used in doorways that lead from one room to another or at the bottom of stairs to prevent a child from climbing up.  They are not recommended as a way to block the top of stairs.  Over time pressure-mounted gates can lose their ability to stay secure and should be replaced.  Once they lose this ability, they are easy to dismount, thus, the main reason they should not be used to block the top of stairs.

    Hardware-mounted gates are the main gates used to block the top of stairs.  Because they must be drilled into the wall or doorway, it is much more secure and makes it very difficult for a small child to dismount.  The hardware-mounted baby gates typically come with an open and close feature that resembles a door.  This makes it convenient for adults and older children to pass through.

    Modern baby gates should be made from sturdy material and should not have sharp edges.  You will find some modern gates with v-shaped openings but they are generally small openings.  Beware of older baby gates of the past with the same v-shaped openings that are large enough for a child's head to fit through.  You may find these old models at garage sales or passed down through the years.  If you come across one, it's best to avoid them or discard them all together.  It is probably best to avoid the newer v-shaped or diamond shaped openings in baby gates as even the smaller openings can be risky in the home.

    Also be aware of baby gates with mesh panels.  If you go this route, choose one with a fine weave rather than a wide one as a child could easily get caught in it or use it as a way to climb.  The best baby gate to go with are probably those with vertical bars.  Vertical bars take away the worry of a child trying to climb the gate.  Make sure your baby gate does not have any parts that could break off.  While this may seem like common sense that manufacturers should be aware of, many baby gates are still recalled due to easily broken parts.  Before you purchase your baby gate, be sure to measure the width of the doorway as well as the required height to prevent your child from climbing over.

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