Baby gates and stairs! Food for thought

P2B visits many homes that use gates for their little one’s safety.

Today I wanted to highlight some food for thought in regard to the use of gates on or around stairs.

Most safety gates are safe and work well to deter children from accessing potentially dangerous places. There are two types of safety gates: pressure mounted, and hardware wall mounted.

A pressure mounted gate (as pictured) is easy to set up and take down. The gate is tightened between two solid wall surfaces. These work well in doorways where there is solid wood construction, but they cannot withstand as much pressure.  They are advisable for blocking off a room, or kitchen or a doorway on a flat surfaced area.  They are not recommended for the top of the stairs as pictured. Why? If your baby pushes against a pressure-mounted gate at the top of the stairs, it could slip from the wall and cause your baby to tumble down the stairs

A hardware wall mounted gate is attached with screws directly into a solid wall or wood post and are useful to block off high-risk areas such as stairs, fireplaces and kitchens because when installed properly the risk of them toppling over is much smaller than pressure-mounted ones.  Pressure mounts are easy to install however need to be bolted or screwed directly into the wall or doorframe. This is a more permanent hardware solution for riskier areas, such as the tops of stairways, where it is not advisable to use a pressure-mounted gate.

Types of recommended top of stair baby gates would be, but not inclusive of these or alike – I am not recommending any particular brands – just wall mounted. Giving these are examples

Other factors to consider:

Many baby gates have will a floor bar as part of their construction, which could be a trip hazard when walking through the gate, particularly if its profile is too high. If you are placing one at the top of the stairs, consider one with no floor bar at all (usually a retractable type) or one with a lower profile and chamfered edges.

Whether you may need the convenience and safety of being able to open the gate with one hand.

Avoid purchasing gates that have a fixed horizontal bar at the bottom, these can become a tripping hazard when opened.

Pet gates are not a suitable substitute for child safety gates, as they are not secure enough or designed for infants or toddlers.

* The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Parents2b and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.