No parent wants to think that something they purchased for their baby’s safety could become dangerous. After all, you want to make the right choices all the time. But anything can be dangerous to a baby, from a simple bucket of water to a bottle cap on the floor.
Is Your Baby Gate Dangerous? Here’s How to Tell
Using baby gates is important. But not all baby gates are made equal. Here are some ways in which your baby gate could become dangerous.
1. Is it installed correctly?
You can skip some steps on an Ikea couch, but you can’t skip them on a baby gate! Alright, you probably shouldn’t skip the steps on the couch, either. If you’ve got leftover parts that you can’t identify, you need to revisit the instruction manual.
Commonly, parents might not set anchors in their drywall and just screw directly into the wall, or may only mount the top or bottom rather than the entire thing. Follow all the directions or you could have a disaster waiting to happen.
2. Are you paying attention to it?
Check your baby gate regularly. Screws can loosen. Tension can be lost. Like anything in your house, baby gates need to be maintained. By the time your infant is a toddler, the gate may have gotten looser, and therefore more dangerous.
When you step through your baby gate, check to see if it wobbles or if anything needs to be tightened. You may need to replace your baby gate entirely if you’ve encountered heavy wear.
3. Is it pressure mounted?
Pressure mounted does seem easier, but it’s just not as secure. Pressure mounted in a dangerous location, like the top of stairs, is even worse. Babies are going to lean against a pressure mounted gate. It can even be instinct for an adult to do so! If you have to use pressure mounted gates, avoid using them in potentially dangerous areas.
4. Are you into the habit of using it properly?
One of the reasons baby gates fail is that parents stop using the gate properly. They forget to latch it, or they just leave it open. A swinging gate has moving parts, and can easily clip tender skin.
But the reason that people frequently stop using their baby gate properly is because it’s difficult to use. Making sure you’ve got the right baby gate is important.
5. Can it be climbed?
Some baby gates aren’t made with toddlers in mind. They may have footholds that an infant can’t get to, but an adventurous toddler can. Consider whether your child has started to grow old enough to climb your baby gate, because that could make it dangerous, too.
Remember: Your baby gate should generally be taken down once your child can scale it, and that can happen at different times depending on the child. Once your child starts climbing the baby gate, it’s time for a larger gate, or a different tactic altogether!
6. Is it made by a reputable company?
There are tons of baby gates out there. Some are flimsy, others haven’t been properly tested. Make sure that yours is produced by a reputable company and that it has good reviews online.
Some baby gates are virtually aesthetic. They may deter the baby just because there’s a barrier there, but they aren’t going to withstand much force. And if you’re going through the gate frequently enough, something is going to eventually break.
7. Are there any broken parts?
Metal baby gates can be broken or bent in ways that make them sharp. Wooden baby gates can splinter. As you put together your baby gate, make sure there aren’t any broken parts to it.
Parts can also break over time. If a gate is bending a little, eventually it’s going to start getting jagged edges. That’s going to need to be resolved by replacing the gate entirely, rather than trying to fix it.
8. Is there furniture near it?
Sometimes a baby gate isn’t dangerous in and of itself, but rather because of what’s around it. A baby gate can become dangerous if there is furniture around it that the baby can climb. A clever, older baby may climb up a foot stool, up a gate, and fall once they reach the top. Make sure that there’s nothing close to the baby gate.
Baby gates themselves aren’t dangerous; they’re necessary. Baby gates prevent your child from being exposed to risks inside and outside of your home. But they need to be treated with care and caution if they aren’t to become a risk themselves! Inspect your baby gates frequently, and do the research necessary to find the baby gates right for your home.
Last updated on February 25th, 2021 at 11:59 am