The moment your baby learns to crawl, your house becomes a danger zone. Your little one can now get out of his or her crib and will find a way to the stairs, kitchen, hot tub, and other areas that present hazards for your child. This is when a baby gate becomes a necessary safety device in your home.
Baby gates are simply plastic or wooden gates that can attach to any wall of your house to prevent your baby from gaining access to dangerous areas in your home. They can be used on staircases, in the baby’s room, or in any other area of your house that you do not want your baby to go. The best solution is to install the gates before your baby becomes mobile to prevent the risk of an accident or injury from occurring in the first place. Preventing child safety issues is what is known as primary prevention and here at New Child Safety, we always recommend prevention first!
When You Purchase a Baby Bate Consider the Following
Select a retractable baby gate~This type of gate is flexible enough to fit in all sizes of doorways and is also ideal if you relocate from a large house to a smaller one, and vice-versa. It comes with plenty of great features that are all meant for the safety of your baby and it can be retracted for easy storage.
The ability to install the gate~Baby gates have to be attached to the wall and without the necessary tools and equipment, installing the baby gate can be tedious and sometimes frustrating. Make sure the company that you purchase the gate from includes specific instructions concerning the appropriate installation. If you do not have the know-how or the necessary tools to complete a safe installation ask a family member or friend for help or even hire help to do it for you.
Check that the latches are easy to use~Gates should have self-latching fasteners that your baby will be unable to open, but it should be quite easy for you to open them to get to your baby. You may have another child, pet or hand-full and of course in an emergency you want to get to your baby as fast as possible, so the latch should be uncomplicated to use.
Ensure that the gate hinges are well oiled~ want No one wants to wake a sleeping baby or consistently hear screeching hinges. Even on plastic gates, the hinges are often made of metal and they will need to be as quiet as possible.
Avoid stepping over the gate at all times~Kids learn most from observation and the mimic our behavior. If your baby has been looking for a way to get out of the baby gate, they will most likely try to get over it if they see you do it. This calls for discipline on the parent’s side. Always remember to go through the gate’s door so that you do not give your baby any ideas of getting over it.
Remember that a baby gate is not a permanent solution~First, your baby will grow up. Baby gates should be removed after your child is approximately 24 months old. Secondly, your baby will get smart. Do not put complete trust in this safety device, after all, baby gates cannot take the place of a supervising adult, so always make sure that there is adult supervision at all times.
Avoid horizontal slats~These can be an open invitation for your baby to climb out of the gate because they provide an easy grip. Vertical slats are ideal because it will be more difficult for your child to find a way of climbing up, over, or through the baby gate. The slats should also be close together enough to give your baby no chance of squeezing through them thus, avoiding another possible type of risky situation.
Decide on the type of baby gate you will need~There are two main types of baby gates: pressure mounted and permanent gates. Pressure mounted gates are easier to set up as they fit into most wooden doors without the use of any permanent fixing, while permanent gates are more complicated to mount, they provide the stability you need. Examine your household needs and choose the best baby gate for you.